The Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality, RSF's largest single effort in the 1990s, was aimed at finding out why high rates of joblessness have persisted among minorities living in America's central cities. Despite a robust U. S. economy, millions of low-skill, inner-city workers remain unemployed or stuck in low-paying, dead-end jobs. One explanation is that the economic restructuring of recent decades has increased the educational and skill requirements for most jobs and that most inner-city workers do not have the training and experience to qualify for these jobs. Many jobs, moreover, have moved from cities to the suburbs, stranding inner-city workers. The Multi-City Study found that these two factors, which researchers refer to as skill and spatial mismatches, tell only part of the story: persistent racial barriers, especially employer bias against hiring racial minorities, constitute an even more significant challenge to the job prospects of inner-city workers.
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