Disproportionate Black and Hispanic Unemployment in U.S. Metropolitan Areas: The Roles of Racial Inequality, Segregation and Discrimination in Male Joblessness


  • Johne E. Farley

    1. [John E. Farley, Ph.D., is professor of sociology in the School of Social Sciences, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Room 1230, Peck Building, Edwardsville, II 62026.]
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Abstract. Three common hypotheses about disproportionate Black and Hispanic unemployment among metropolitan males are tested, using data from the 1980 Population and the 1977 Economic Censuses. It is found that Black and Hispanic male unemployment is higher relative to that of Whites where jobs are most suburbanized and the minority population least so. This supports the view that segregation which separates minorities from job location elevates minority unemployment. It is also found that relative levels of Black, but not Hispanic, unemployment correlate positively to the minority percentage in metropolitan populations. This is consistent with the view that potential White gains from discrimination are greater where the Black (but not Hispanic) population is larger. Finally, both Blacks and Hispanics experience more disproportionate unemployment where their percentage of high school graduates is low relative to Whites, though this is less true for areas with larger Black populations. This suggests that job skill differentials also play some role in disproportionate minority unemployment.