Poor Suburbs Struggle with Job Sprawl
A report recently issued by the Brookings Institution finds that "in more than 60 percent of neighborhoods with poverty rates above 20 percent and 55 percent of majority-minority neighborhoods, jobs are getting farther away."
Minority movement away from the "inner city" into suburbia exacerbates this trend: "the number of Hispanics living near jobs fell 17 percent last decade and 14 percent fewer blacks live close to employment compared to 6 percent fewer whites, according to the report."
Centers of employment have gravitated to desirable areas, lengthening the commute from more modest locales. From the article: "Retail and offices settled in higher-income neighborhoods. So while the movement of minorities to suburbia that accelerated the last 20 years sent hopeful signs of a rising middle-class, many minorities settled in poorer, inner-ring suburbs that did not attract employers."
The articles cites Los Angeles' ambitious mass transit construction program as a solution. However, "housing near transit tends to jack up property values. Apartments and condos that sprout up along transit lines often are out of reach of lower-income residents."