Black Applicants, Black Employees, and Urban Labor Market Policy
Harry J. Holzer
In this paper, I use data from a new survey of employers in four large metropolitan areas to analyze the flow of black applicants to different kinds of employers and the extent to which these applicants are hired. The results show that less-educated black workers apply less frequently for jobs in the suburbs than in central cities, especially at smaller establishments. Their lower tendency to apply for suburban jobs is mostly accounted for by the higher costs to central-city black residents of applying there, and by lower information flows as well. Black applicants, especially less-educated black males, are also less likely to be hired at suburban establishments, particularly where they must deal with white customers. These results suggest the need for policies to reduce the costs of applying for suburban jobs and to improve the flow of information about suburban employment prospects to less-educated blacks, and perhaps a need to complement such policies with more effective enforcement of antidiscrimination laws in small suburban establishments.
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