The Decline in Access to Jobs and the Location of Employment Growth in US Metro Areas: Implications for Economic Opportunity and Mobility

Abstract: Job access, defined as the number or share of jobs found within a fixed distance or travel time from a worker’s residence, is an important indicator of economic opportunity and mobility. Access to jobs has been associated with positive individual economic outcomes for low-income minority workers.1 By contrast, low rates of job access have been linked to longer unemployment spells and lower rates of generational economic mobility.2 Increasing job accessibility has been found to significantly decrease the duration of joblessness among lower-income displaced workers, especially for African Americans, females, and older workers,3 and policies that increase job accessibility could possibly influence the pace of the labor market recovery from the COVID-19-induced recession. By studying trends in job access from 2007 to 2017, we discern developments that might inform our policy choices.

Keywords: employment; economic mobility; diversity;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Part of Series: Community Development Publications

Publication Date: 2020-10-01