Spatial mismatch and labor market segmentation for African-American and Latina women

S. McLafferty, V. Preston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The economic well-being of African-Americans and Latinos in the US depends critically on women's employment and earnings. Gender differences in labor market segmentation are central to the spatial mismatch debate, both in their effects on wages, occupation, and transportation access and their links to place-based variation in commuting and spatial access to employment. Using 1980 PUMS data for northern New Jersey, we examine the spatial mismatch between jobs and residences for employed black and Hispanic women and the links between labor market segmentation and spatial mismatch. Minority women have poorer spatial access to jobs than white women, but they typically have better spatial access to employment than minority men. The mismatch is greatest for African-American women, reflecting their heavy reliance on mass transit and poor spatial access to employment in all economic sectors. Latina workers have more localized labor markets, but also the lowest earning of any group. For Latinas, the primary problem is not spatial access to employment but rather a lack of access to well-paying jobs. These differences in mismatch reflect the combined effects of gender-and race-based segmentation and spatial access to employment and transportation. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-431
Number of pages26
JournalEconomic Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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