Within cities and suburbs: Racial residential concentration and the spatial distribution of employment opportunities across sub-metropolitan areas



This article examines and compares the spatial distributions of new jobs and people across sub-metropolitan areas for Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, and Los Angeles. The jobs data come from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality and the data on people come from the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The results indicate that less-educated people, public assistance recipients, and especially poor females with children mostly reside in areas heavily populated by minorities where the availability of less-skilled jobs is quite low, while the availability of these jobs relative to less-educated people in suburban areas heavily populated by whites is high. Large fractions of the less-skilled jobs in these metropolitan areas are not accessible by public transit. Furthermore, there is significant variation within both central cities and suburbs in the ethnic composition of residents and in less-skilled job availability. The ability of various minority groups to gain employment in each area depends heavily on the ethnic composition of the particular area. © 2000 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.