The Structural Change Of The Inner City Job Market

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The drastic reduction of stable manufacturing work in American cities remains one of the biggest, if not the foremost, issue linked to poverty. The growth in blue-collar factory, transportation and construction jobs that were traditionally held by men has dissipated for a variety of reasons, from Globalization to the rise in Illegal Immigration. This structural change in the inner-city job market is of particular interest because of the amalgamation of both Economics and Poverty/Segregation issues. Without clearly defining and addressing this crucial structural issue, the war on poverty will be extremely difficult to successfully address and overcome. It is difficult to overstate the extent to which the reduction of traditional…show more content…
The closure of big factories and the like ravished the Union industry, which had previously negotiated rather lofty compensation deals with the corporations. Clerical jobs also garnered about 30% lower in wages, which added to the growing plight of poverty. Women traditionally staffed the new clerical jobs and were aided with the rise in women’s’ rights. On the other hand, these men, primarily African-American as will be discussed later, had almost no alternatives or any light at the end of the tunnel, considering the many obstacles in their path adapting to the changing world. The ethnic group affected most by this structural shift in job market is African Americans and played a significant part in the continuation of their high poverty levels. The Great Migration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries led to millions of Blacks moving North hoping for a better life and escaping the cruel post-Civil war and Jim Crow environment in the South. As Massey writes, this led to the formation of the black “Ghetto”: highly concentrated black neighborhoods in many Northern cities. Whilst today the Ghetto holds a negative connotation for some, it is important to note that Black intellectuals like Booker T. Washington were actually in favor of creating such ghettos early on. In their minds, the creation of independent, self-sustaining black neighborhoods would lead to economic sustenance, a vibrant African-American culture a.k.a. “Harlem Renaissance”,
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