To design effective strategies for removing barriers to low-income workers' access to economic opportunities, it is essential to reexamine the "geography of opportunity". This paper presents a study of spatial distribution of job openings and of spatial variation in job accessibility in the Boston Metropolitan Area. The research methodology has three main components: (1) estimation of the number of job openings, (2) measurement of job accessibility, and (3) analysis and visualization of spatial patterns of job openings and accessibility. The most striking finding is that, despite decades of employment decentralization, job openings - including those suitable for less-educated job seekers - are still relatively concentrated in the central city. This is due to the fact that the great majority of openings are job vacancies resulting from turnover; the spatial concentration of turnover reflects the spatial concentration of current employment. A related finding is that, for a given transportation mode, less-educated job seekers who reside in the central city still have, on average, somewhat better access to job openings than those who reside at the periphery of the metropolitan area. However, accessibility differentials among locations are small as compared to accessibility differentials between transportation modes. For job seekers who can travel by car, the majority of residential locations will allow them to have an accessibility level higher than the average. For job seekers who depend on public transit, on the other hand, very few residential locations will allow them to have an above-average accessibility level. These findings imply that transportation mobility improvement is, whereas residential dispersal is not, a potentially effective strategy for overcoming spatial separation between economic opportunities and the economically disadvantaged population, including welfare recipients, in U.S. metropolitan areas.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 35 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00780147
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Final Report
  • Contract Numbers: DTRS95-G-0001
  • Files: NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 17 1999 12:00AM