Why Inner City Joblessness Is So Stubborn

Strong economic growth, according to most economists, was supposed to be powerful medicine for the problem of unemployment among inner-city young adults. As employers got desperate for scarce labor, the theory went, they would pull the idle from poor neighborhoods into the mainstream of the U. S. labor market. Alas, that's not what happened, even after the eight-year expansion of the 1980s. Unemployment for black males aged 20 to 24, for example, dropped only slightly, from 23.7% in 1980 to 20.2% in 1990. Since then, even this meager progress has disappeared, with their unemployment rate climbing back mver 25% in April.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.