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Neighborhoods and Labor Markets

June 20, 2011 Federal Reserve Bank—Houston Branch

The "disappearance of work" in lower-income and predominately minority neighborhoods of America's cities has been linked to a host of social ills—from family disintegration, to long-term welfare dependency to high levels of violence and crime. One prominent theory holds that spatial mismatch—suburbanization of employment without suburbanization of lower-income residents—is responsible.

Recent research suggests that this theory is deeply flawed. Poverty is in fact suburbanizing, and economic analysis shows that spatial proximity appears much less important to neighborhood employment rates than other factors, such as the thinness of employment networks, racial discrimination in hiring, and the failures of public education. How have community developers responded, and where can we point to success in adopting community-centered or community-mediated solutions to these basic labor market failures?


    June 20, 2011
  • 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Central Time)
    National convening at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Central Time)
    Regional convening at the Federal Reserve Bank, Houston Branch
  • The national panel discussion was streamed live to all satellite locations and was followed by a regional discussion at each satellite location.


  • Federal Reserve Bank—Houston Branch
    1801 Allen Parkway
    Houston, TX 77017