Job access and employment among low-skilled autoless workers in US metropolitan areas
Focusing on low-skilled workers, I present an empirical analysis of the relationship between transit-based job accessibility and employment outcomes for workers without automobiles. The metropolitan areas examined are Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Two essential components of the analysis are the calculation of refined job-access measures that take into account travel modes as well as the supply and demand of the labor market, and the incorporation of job-access measures into multinomial logit models. The results indicate that improved transit-based job accessibility significantly augments both the probability of being employed and the probability of working 30 hours or more per week for autoless workers in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Further, in these two areas, job accessibility has a greater effect for autoless workers than for auto-owning workers. Job accessibility plays a more significant role in employment outcomes for autoless workers in San Francisco and Los Angeles, highly auto-dependent areas, than it does in Boston, a more compact area with relatively well-developed transit systems. The empirical findings hold important implications for the theory and policy debate surrounding spatial mismatch.
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