Jobs deficits, neighbourhood effects, and ethnic penalties: The geography of ethnic-labour-market inequality

Environment and Planning A (Impact Factor: 1.69). 04/2009; 41(4):946-963. DOI: 10.1068/a40229
Source: RePEc


The reduction of inequalities in the labour market both between ethnic groups and between local areas indicates improved access to jobs because a diverse workforce is socially and economically desirable. We construct and analyse a unique evidence base of the labour-market circumstances at the neighbourhood level. We use the 2001 Census data for England and Wales to examine the impact of age, sex, birthplace, and educational qualifications on the employment of ethnic minorities nationally. We compute locally expected employment on the basis of these relationships and local characteristics, and compare it with locally observed employment. Our analysis demonstrates that 1.1 million new jobs are required to bring every ethnic group in every locality up to the average England and Wales employment rate. National ethnic-group differences account for most of this local job deficit; local variation in demographic composition and human capital account for a smaller proportion of the jobs deficit. Residual neighbourhood effects have both a geography common to each ethnic group (for example, a gradient of higher jobs deficits in the Midlands, the North of England, and Wales), and some group-specific characteristics (for example, more favourable outcomes for Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups in the North than might have been expected). The findings and approach allow targeting employment policies geographically and thematically. In addition, the on-line evidence base (<?tf=“t041”><?tf=“t905”>) is a public resource which can be used to investigate local outcomes and to prioritise remedial action.

Download full-text


Available from: Danny Dorling
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the UK, as in some other EU states, the focus of recent welfare reforms has switched from those on unemployment benefits to those receiving sickness/incapacity benefits (IBs), reflecting concerns around the large numbers falling into the this last group. The Labour government elected in 1997 introduced a range of measures to activate those on IBs, setting a target of a one million reduction in the number of claimants by the end of 2015. The Conservative Party similarly came to acknowledge that high levels of IB claiming represented a problem of ‘unemployment hidden as sickness’, and in coalition now proposes even more aggressive supply-side strategies. This paper provides an extensive review of the most recent evidence to identify factors driving the rise in the number of people claiming IBs and, in light of this analysis, assesses whether current policy is fit for purpose. An important conclusion is that any national ‘one-size fits all’ supply-side policy response is blind to the distinctive geography of receipt of IBs and the complex combination of factors that leave some people trapped on these benefits.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Environment and Planning A
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article aims to test whether geographical factors have an important role in explaining ethnic inequalities in transitions between economic activities. It is based on the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study, which links together results from successive censuses in England for a random sample of respondents. It allows us to estimate the probability of transition into and out of employment and the labour market. Our analyses reported that ethnic minorities were, more likely than their White peers, to become unemployed and less likely to become employed. Living in a deprived neighbourhood was associated (positively) with transitions to unemployment and (negatively) with transitions to employment, especially among men. Ethnic diversity was negatively associated with job loss among employed women, but also for homemaking women and their chances of finding employment. Deprivation partially explained the ethnic minority disadvantage in the English labour market.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Economic Geography