In many cities, low-income residents live far from available jobs, and employers can’t find people to fill open positions. Economists call this “spatial mismatch”—a mismatch between where jobs are located and where job seekers live, which can cause high unemployment rates and lead to longer spells of joblessness. Data from Snag, the largest online marketplace for hourly jobs, show us that this is true for job seekers who use their platform. Snag data capture a large number of low-wage job seekers in each metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Looking at 2017, the most recent year of data, we analyzed the distance between every job seeker and the jobs they applied for, allowing us to map out spatial mismatch. And we talked to local government and workforce officials in two regions to learn what they’re doing to overcome this problem. (Author introduction modified)
Too far from jobs: Spatial mismatch and hourly workers
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