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An Analysis of Perceptions of Job Insecurity among White and Black Workers in the United States: 1977–2012


  • Masanori Kuroki

    () (Arkansas Tech University)


Abstract While objective measures indicate that the risk of job loss is higher for black workers than for white workers, there is little research on how what workers’ expectations of job loss differ by race. This study looks at how secure black and white workers are feeling about their jobs and how their perceptions of job insecurity have been affected by time trends and regional unemployment rates. I find that perceptions of job security of black male workers, older black workers, and black high school graduates have deteriorated relative to their white counterparts during the period 1977–2012. Among those who attended college, white workers’ perceived job insecurity has increased. Black blue-collar workers’ and construction workers’ perceptions of job insecurity also have increased relative to their white counterparts. Moreover, perceptions of job insecurity among several black groups, such as high school dropouts and old workers, are more sensitive to regional unemployment rates than their white counterparts.

Suggested Citation

  • Masanori Kuroki, 2016. "An Analysis of Perceptions of Job Insecurity among White and Black Workers in the United States: 1977–2012," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 43(3), pages 289-300, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:blkpoe:v:43:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s12114-016-9237-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s12114-016-9237-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Linz, Susan J. & Semykina, Anastasia, 2008. "How do workers fare during transition? Perceptions of job insecurity among Russian workers, 1995-2004," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 442-458, June.
    2. Francis Green & Andrew Dickerson & Alan Carruth & David Campbell, 2001. "An Analysis of Subjective Views of Job Insecurity," Studies in Economics 0108, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    3. Masanori Kuroki, 2012. "The Deregulation of Temporary Employment and Workers' Perceptions of Job Insecurity," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(3), pages 560-577, July.
    4. Marcel Garz, 2012. "Job Insecurity Perceptions and Media Coverage of Labor Market Policy," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 528-544, December.
    5. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    6. Pierre Brochu & Louis-Philippe Morin, 2012. "Union Membership and Perceived Job Insecurity: Thirty Years of Evidence from the American General Social Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(2), pages 263-285, April.
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