Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Racial Disparities in the Dayton Manufacturing Sector

Black factory workers: hurt worst by the decline in manufacturing in the Dayton area?.

Conventional wisdom is that the assembly and fabrication (and textiles/clothing) category of manufacturing is most under threat for relocation to low wage labor markets. If this happens it will disproportionably impact the local Black community, leading to increased unemployment and downward mobility.

Census SF 4, which is based on a 2000 census sample, aggregates production workers into eight job classes (based on BLS Standard Occupational Classification System, production occupatons available in detail here). The census also permits the separation of these employment classifications by race, so one can if there are any discrepancies.

And there are.

Graphing out white and black by job classification for production work, the big differences are in the Assembly & Fabrication and Metalworking & Plastics categories. Blacks working in production work are 40% in Assembly and Fabrication, the largest category for blacks compared to 20.9for whites. The base category for whites is metalworking, but this is third for blacks.

Both races are about even in the “Other “category, which is a grab-bag of production jobs. Unfortunately the census doesn’t permit further granularity for this category.

For the smaller categories, Blacks have a higher % in Textiles & Clothing and Whites are more in Printing.

So, as one can see blacks working in manufacturing could really be at threat of unemployment if Assembly & Fabrication work is going away, since such a high % of them working in production work fall into this category.

The Geography of Blacks in Assembly & Fabrication Work:

Graphing out the census tracts, highest number of A&F workers to lowest, to see if there are any breaks and clusters

And then mapping out the workforce based on the breaks suggested by the bar graph, again using 2000 data. One can see some interesting geographic clusters, in Trotwood and the Gettysburg Corridor, along Salem and Main, and the start of some concentrations in Huber, out into Englewood, and perhaps in Miami Twp.

What’s sad about this is that one can see outward mobility of black blue collar workers to better conditions in the suburbs or newer city neighborhoods, which begs the question of what are the impacts of job losses since 2000 on this upward and outward mobility, and on neighborhoods with a lot of A & F workers? (note this just looks at assembly workers).


Anonymous said...

just a reflection of the local population and education distribution, in my opinion...

Greg Hunter said...

Hans - What is a reflection of income and education distribution. I guess I do not get your point, maybe its my education. Enlighten me. People are hanging on by a thread and so is Dayton, so anymore financial downturn could be the straw. Does this possibility impact you Hans? Are you in a recession proof industry Hans?

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