The other Reason Job Suburbanization Hurts Blacks Academic Article uri icon


  • Data are presented on the racial composition of employment in census tracts for Detroit and Atlanta, showing that employment in the central cities is disproportionately black, and employment in the suburbs is disproportionately white. It is argued that this urban-suburban contrast is explained by the concentration of black employment in predominantly black neighborhoods. Physical proximity to black workers and human capital considerations can account for a small percentage of this relationship. However, even after controlling for these factors, the effect of neighborhood racial composition on the percentage black of employment is quite substantial. These findings suggest that the suburbanization of work may adversely affect black employment, not so much by moving jobs outside of their feasible commuting range but by shifting jobs to areas of the city where black workers are at a higher risk of discrimination.

published proceedings

  • Urban Affairs Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Cohn, S., & Fosselt, M

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Cohn, Samuel||Fosselt, Mark

publication date

  • September 1998