Unemployment is becoming more concentrated. Neighborhoods that had high unemployment in 1980 had even higher unemployment 20 years later. What are the possible reasons—and solutions—for this trend?
Economic activity within metropolitan areas in the United States tends to be distributed unevenly. Within nearly any city, there are neighborhoods that grow—attracting businesses that provide jobs, goods and services—and there are those that do not. Why are some neighborhoods more conducive to economic development than others?
Surveys often find that, among the many issues Americans deem important for the current and future well-being of the country, job growth ranks near the top. Employment, after all, confers enormous benefits to individuals, both economic (e.g., jobs provide an income) and otherwise (e.g., employment gives workers a sense of purpose and satisfaction) and, subsequently, to their communities.
Thirty years ago, the "haves" in the St. Louis Fed's District earned 3.7 times what the "have nots" earned. Today, the "haves" make 5.2 times as much. Education is just one of the reasons behind the widening divide.