Date of Award

12-18-2014

Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

Abstract

Following the US Recession and global financial meltdown, many Americans lost their jobs and many more queuing for jobs in the labor market significantly lost their initial prospects of getting employed. Even before the onset of the financial turmoil, the labor market was still not equally receptive of persons of different colors, with the African Americans being the worst affected. The Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the Life Course Theory (LCT) are both made up of crucial tenets that were used to explain the disparities observed in awarding of job opportunities in various states across the US. The study used data collected through the Current Population Survey (CPS) administered by the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics; surveys from December 2005, December 2008, and December 2011. It was hypothesized that youthful Americans of Black ancestry were the most likely to be denied a chance at employment, with increasing bias towards the South East; the disparities observed in awarding African Americans jobs decreases across advancing age groups; the rates of unemployment for older adults increase over the study period with racial and geographical biases; and that the likelihoods of employment for black and white Hispanics are similar to the probabilities of unemployment for blacks and whites respectively. Using the SPSS and ArcGIS software to develop logistic regression output and thematic mappings of geographic distribution of employment opportunities to members of black, white, and Hispanic backgrounds, the study found out that 1) there is higher concentration of low-likelihood for blacks’ employment among states in the East, without particular bias towards the South West, 2) older African Americans were more likely to secure employment opportunities than their younger counterparts, 3) the rates of unemployment among older members of society have increased tremendously across the three study periods, with the Western states rapidly emerging as leading zones of employment discrimination among the older cohorts, and finally, 4) the probabilities of unemployment amongst black and white Hispanics were not essentially similar to the likelihoods of either blacks or whites.

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