Suburbanites enjoy better labor market outcomes

December 11, 1998

Regardless of age, sex, race, or ethnicity, people living in central cities are less likely to be in the labor force and more likely to be unemployed than those living in the suburbs.

Labor force participation and unemployment rates of city dwellers and suburbanites, 1997
[Chart data—TXT]

In 1997, 69.9 percent of persons living in the suburbs participated in the labor force, compared with 64.6 percent of persons living in central cities. The unemployment rate of suburbanites was 4.0 percent, compared with 7.3 percent for city dwellers.

The differences in labor-market outcomes for city dwellers and suburbanites are particularly striking among black workers. Among blacks living in central cities, 60.2 percent were in the labor force in 1997 and 12.5 percent of those in the labor force were unemployed. This compared with a 73.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, among blacks living in the suburbs.

These data are a product of the Current Population Survey. Additional information is available from "Issues in Labor Statistics: Labor-market Outcomes for City Dwellers and Suburbanites".


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Suburbanites enjoy better labor market outcomes on the Internet at (visited September 29, 2016).


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