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Are Jobs Available for Disadvantaged Workers in Urban Areas?

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  • H. J. Holzer
  • S. Danziger

Abstract

We use data from surveys of employers and households in four metropolitan areas to predict the degree of job availability for various types of disadvantaged workers, such as minorities, high school dropouts, and welfare recipients. We conduct simulations in which we “match” workers to jobs on the basis of skill, spatial, and racial characteristics of each. Our results show that roughly 9 to 17 percent of actual or potential jobseekers are likely to have difficulty finding work, even in tight labor markets. Simulated mismatch rates for disadvantaged workers are considerably higher. We conclude that disadvantaged workers face quite limited job availability, at least in the short run. The wages and benefits for jobs available to these workers are also quite low.

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File URL: http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp115798.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty in its series Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers with number 1157-98.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1157-98

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  1. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
  2. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 1906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Katz, Lawrence F. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1990. "The impact of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on the duration of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 45-72, February.
  5. Cameron, Stephen V & Heckman, James J, 1993. "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-47, January.
  6. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
  7. Carl Davidson, 1990. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Involuntary Unemployment," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number rdtiu.
  8. H. W. Hoynes, . "Local Labor Markets and Welfare Spells: Do Demand Conditions Matter?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1104-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  9. H. J. Holzer & K. R. Ihlanfeldt, . "Spatial factors and the employment of blacks at the firm level," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1086-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  10. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 199-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Juhn, Chinhui, 1992. "Decline of Male Labor Market Participation: The Role of Declining Market Opportunities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 79-121, February.
  12. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
  13. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Reservation Wages and Their Labor Market Effects for Black and White Male Youth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 157-177.
  14. H. J. Holzer, . "Why do small establishments hire fewer blacks than large ones," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1119-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  15. Abraham, Katharine G, 1983. "Structural-Frictional vs. Deficient Demand Unemployment: Some New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 708-24, September.
  16. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1994. "Minimum Wage Effects and Low-Wage Labor Markets: A Disequilibrium Approach," NBER Working Papers 4617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Harry J. Holzer, 1994. "Black employment problems: New evidence, old questions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 699-722.
  18. Richard B. Freeman, 1990. "Employment and Earnings of Disadvantaged Young Men in a Labor Shortage Economy," NBER Working Papers 3444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  20. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Blumenberg, Evelyn A., 2003. "En-gendering Effective Planning: Spatial Mismatch, Low-Income Women, and Transportation Policy," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt7kc7v38f, University of California Transportation Center.
  2. M. A. Stoll & H. J. Holzer & K. R. Ihlanfeldt, . "Within Cities and Suburbs: Racial Residential Concentration and the Spatial Distribution of Employment Opportunities across Submetropolitan Areas," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1189-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  3. L. Randall Wray & Stephanie A. Bell, 2004. "The 'War on Poverty' after 40 Years: A Minskyan Assessment," Macroeconomics 0404034, EconWPA.
  4. Harry J. Holzer, 1999. "Will employers hire welfare recipients? Recent survey evidence from Michigan," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 449-472.
  5. Blumenberg, Evelyn, 2003. "En-gendering Effective Planning: Spatial Mismatch, Low-Income Women, and Transportation Policy," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt20m3505v, University of California Transportation Center.
  6. H. J. Holzer, . "Employer Demand for Welfare Recipients and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Recent Employer Surveys," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1185-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  7. Harry J. Holzer & Steven Raphael & Michael A. Stoll, 2001. "Will Employers Hire Ex-Offenders? Employer Preferences, Background Checks, and Their Determinants," JCPR Working Papers 238, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  8. Vartanian, Thomas P., 1999. "Locational effects on AFDC exits: Examining local labor markets," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 607-631.

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