Migration And Poverty Case Study

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Both qualitative and quantitative studies on migration and poverty suggest that migration is selective with respect to income and earning capacity. Fitchen (1995) and Lichter et al. (2010) examined the role that migration plays in the relationship between poor people and poor places. Fitchen’s (1995) study described an eastern New York town experiencing increasing welfare caseloads and urban exodus. Vacated buildings and storefronts in the downtown were bought up by out-of-town investors, subdivided into multi-dwelling apartment buildings, and leased to low-income residents. Fitchen further described a trend of progressive movement, where people were displaced to less urban areas, resulting in a process of migration to rural areas that…show more content…
Unemployment rates, for example, do not capture potentially discouraged or underemployed workers and often mask out-migration. Because there are differences in opportunities for men and women, and thus differential participation in the labor force, employment and population ratios for men and women may measure labor market tightness better than overall unemployment rates. Job growth rates may better capture opportunities for low-income people than unemployment rates, although new jobs in a locality are often filled by migrants and in-commuters (Bartik, 1991; Raphael, 1998; Renkow, 2003). Moreover, Bartik (1996) suggested that job growth may be less endogenous than local unemployment rates. The labor market is, of course, not the only contextual influence on poverty. Such things as a lack of affordable childcare (Davis & Weber, 2001) and a lack of public transportation options in sparsely settled places (Duncan, Whitener, & Weber, 2002) may impose barriers to labor force participation and employment for low-income adults. This is often more constraining in rural areas in compassion with urban areas (Weber,…show more content…
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that though poverty is usually associated with unemployment, a significant portion of the poor are actually employed (see also DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, & Smith, 2009). Due to their low wages, the working poor face countless obstacles that make it difficult to find and keep a job, cover basic expenses, and obtain a sense of security (Cross, 2010; Kalleberg, 2011; Lohmann, 2009). The official working poverty rate in the U.S. has been stable over the past four decades (Hoynes, 2005). However, some scholars disagree with this stability, and feel that the official definition is set too low as the share of workers facing financial hardship has increased over the years (Bordoff et al., 2007; Sandoval, 2009; Wicks-Lim, 2010). Others argue that changes in the economy (i.e., the shift from a manufacturing-based to service-based economy) have resulted in the polarization of the labor market (Autor, Katz, & Kearney, 2006; Satya, 2011). This means that while there are more jobs in both extremities of the income spectrum, there are fewer jobs in the middle (Kalleberg,
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