Race Continues to Play a Powerful Role in Shaping Life Chances, Study Concludes

Contact: Adrianne Kaufmann
Phone: 617-495-8290
Date: September 28, 1999

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- The most thorough study of urban inequality in the U.S. - focusing on four U.S. cities Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, and Los Angeles - finds that discrimination poses a significant barrier to workers of color and to people with little education.

Over five years, the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality looked at labor market participation, racial inequality and political attitudes among 9,000 households and 3,500 employers. Researchers found that race not only continues to matter a lot, but that it influences employers' perceptions of skills and their perceptions of the desirability of different locations as business sites and areas from which to recruit.

Co-sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Harvard University Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy, some key findings include:

Less than 10% of the jobs in metropolitan areas are available for high-school graduates with no major skills

Native-born blacks are losing jobs to recent immigrants

The housing and labor markets are highly segregated.

The full findings of the study will be released and discussed at a one-day symposium on Friday, October 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. hosted by Katherine Newman, William Julius Wilson and Christopher Jencks at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The symposium is open to the press.

For more information visit the Multi City Inequality Conference web site or contact Adrianne Kaufmann at 617-495-8290.

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