Current urban policy stresses the creation of a sustainable economic base in the inner city. It is assumed that increasing the number and range of jobs in the inner city will result in employment opportunities for disadvantaged local residents. This paper explores the linkage between inner-city employment and inner-city residence in Phoenix, Arizona, using the 1995 Maricopa County Trip Reduction Survey. Results indicate that only 15% of the employees of large businesses in inner-city Phoenix were residents of nearby neighborhoods. Stronger workplace-residence linkages were found in personal services, agricultural activities, hotels, and restaurants. Extremely weak linkages occurred in transportation-related activities at the local airport, communications and public utilities, and financial institutions. Few inner-city residents were employed in inner-city governmental activities. Occupational profiles with the strongest ties to inner-city residents were those oriented toward manufacturing tasks and those employing women and young persons. Although there was, in fact, a mismatch between the professional nature of many inner-city jobs and the low educational and skill levels of inner-city residents, job linkages were weak even in areas that were dominated by low- and semi-skilled jobs. Ultimately, we question the assumption that job creation in the inner-city results in more jobs for local residents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies