Unequally Insecure: Rising Black/White Disparities in Job Displacement, 1981-2017

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field & Nathan Seltzer
Social scientists have documented vast racial disparities in labor market outcomes such as hiring and firing decisions, compensation, and opportunities for occupational advancement. Yet little is known about the racial patterning of job displacement (permanent involuntary layoffs), a remarkably common labor market outcome. Using data from the Displaced Worker Survey, covering nearly four decades of displacements, 1981-2017, we provide the first systematic analysis of Black/white displacement disparities. We find that Black workers were nearly always...
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