Challenging Access to Jobs and Urban America

March 25, 2015
The challenge in jobs is the disambiguation between role, technology, communication and proximity coupled with the consistent -ism’s that prevent many access to resources and information.  There is a trend to  combine positions to improve production and reduce costs – getting more for less philosophy.  The answer is there are people to fill the roles but access is akin to crossing a chasm. Companies can decide how they wish to acquire resources to reap the return between outsourcing, employment, contractual and the cost of paying for expertise.
When companies are willing to relocate professionals and/or consider other non-traditional work environments to gain core intelligences such as, telecommuting, work day reconfiguration and/or time-sharing work practices. Despite the work to produce organizational changes when performed the results are lean, sustainable and productive environments generated by new models to gain good-to-great-workers today.
I must offer that in the inclusion-confusion minorities are game and ready for work when the doors are open. Do not let it be said that workers are not hungry for work- their starving.
The group of minorities between the ages of 35-60 are the one of the most educated in U.S. history yet they are undervalued and are seeking access to accelerating work opportunities. It is time to dispel the rumor mill that there are not qualified minorities or women, as well as they cannot be found- they are ready and willing. 
I like to share with my readers what Brooking had to say.
Brookings Institute reported “The growing distance between people and jobs in metropolitan America“. Proximity to employment can influence a range of economic and social outcomes, from local fiscal health to the employment prospects of residents, particularly low-income and minority workers. An analysis of private-sector employment and demographic data at the census tract level reveals that:Between 2000 and 2012, the number of jobs within the typical commute distance for residents in a major metro area fell by 7 percent. Of the nation’s 96 largest metro areas, in only 29—many in the South and West, including McAllen, Texas, Bakersfield, Calif., Raleigh, N.C., and Baton Rouge, La.—did the number of jobs within a typical commute distance for the average resident increase. Each of these 29 metro areas also experienced net job gains between 2000 and 2012.As employment suburbanized, the number of jobs near both the typical city and suburban resident fell. Suburban residents saw the number of jobs within a typical commute distance drop by 7 percent, more than twice the decline experienced by the typical city resident (3 percent). In all, 32.7 million city residents lived in neighborhoods with declining proximity to jobs compared to 59.4 million suburban residents.

As poor and minority residents shifted toward suburbs in the 2000s, their proximity to jobs fell more than for non-poor and white residents. The number of jobs near the typical Hispanic (-17 percent) and black (-14 percent) resident in major metro areas declined much more steeply than for white (-6 percent) residents, a pattern repeated for the typical poor (-17 percent) versus non-poor (-6 percent) resident.

Residents of high-poverty and majority-minority neighborhoods experienced particularly pronounced declines in job proximity. Overall, 61 percent of high-poverty tracts (with poverty rates above 20 percent) and 55 percent of majority-minority neighborhoods experienced declines in job proximity between 2000 and 2012. A growing number of these tracts are in suburbs, where nearby jobs for the residents of these neighborhoods dropped at a much faster pace than for the typical suburban resident (17 and 16 percent, respectively, versus 7 percent).

For local and regional leaders working to grow their economies in ways that promote opportunity and upward mobility for all residents, these findings underscore the importance of understanding how regional economic and demographic trends intersect at the local level to shape access to employment opportunities, particularly for disadvantaged populations and neighborhoods. And they point to the need for more integrated and collaborative regional strategies around economic development, housing, transportation, and workforce decisions that take job proximity into account.



Elizabeth Kneebone

Elizabeth Kneebone is a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. Her work primarily focuses on urban and suburban poverty, metropolitan demographics, and tax policies that support low-income workers and communities. 

Natalie Holmes

Natalie Holmes is a senior research assistant at the Metropolitan Policy Program. Her work focuses on poverty, access to opportunity, and tax policies that support low-income workers and communities in metropolitan America.

Neighborhood trends in the number of nearby jobs

For each census tract, find the number of jobs located nearby (i.e. within a typical commute distance for the metro area). Use the “Map options” menu to select which year of data to view, and to identify high-poverty or majority-minority neighborhoods. More information »

How do the neighborhoods in the map above compare to the metro area average?

Number of jobs near the average resident of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metro area

Entire metro area City portion of the metro area Suburban portion of the metro area
Neighborhood type 2000 2012 Change (%) 2000 2012 Change (%) 2000 2012 Change (%)
All 400,045 407,944 +2.0% 848,274 921,266 +8.6% 299,014 302,957 +1.3%
High-poverty 747,532 676,089 -9.6% 807,145 851,734 +5.5% 462,471 457,785 -1.0%
Majority-minority 544,120 440,073 -19.1% 816,299 877,949 +7.5% 426,355 348,056 -18.4%

For each metropolitan area, see how the number of jobs near the average resident compares with other large metro areas and the nation as a whole. Hover over each bar for detailed information.


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