Ethnic Concentrations and Labor Market Opportunities

Wilson, Franklin
Working paper no. 1997-17


This paper seeks to determine whether employment in co-ethnic niches enhances labor market opportunities for urban workers, and whether the immigrant share of the workforce of an employment sector is associated with joblessness, low occupational attainment and low hourly wages. The results indicate that while substantial shares of minority populations are employed in co-ethnic niches, these concentrations are not associated with lower odds of being jobless or having higher occupational status and hourly wages. Contrary to much previous research, results reported in this paper indicate that high immigrant concentrations in employment sectors and changes in concentrations between 1980 and 1990 are substantially associated with high  joblessness, and low occupational status and low hourly wages of some urban workers.