Economic disparity between urban white America and urban black America is becoming more pronounced, whether in central cities, suburbs, or edge cities. African-American employment prospects have declined in central cities, increased slightly in suburbs, and increased substantially for the few African Americans living and working in edge cities. William Julius Wilson cites the decline in stable, higher-paying, blue-collar employment in the industrial cities throughout America. Others identify the changing structure of metropolitan employment as characterized by more rapid professional and white-collar employment growth in suburbs and edge cities and declining employment in central cities. In his book, Cities Without Suburbs, David Rusk argues that there is a distinction between the growth patterns of elastic and inelastic cities: elastic cities grow from within and are sufficiently flexible to transcend boundaries; inelastic cities experience declining demographic, economic, employment, and tax growth. Suburbs gain what the central cities lose. These trends are manifested in the stark disparities in income, wealth, and poverty between African Americans and other Americans and among urban African Americans. The rise of young, African-American, female-headed households, the burgeoning employment in edge cities, and the lower incomes of African Americans with college educations and professional training contribute collectively to trends in the economic status of African Americans. Beyond differences in income of urban African Americans, William O'Hare identified critical differences, particularly in urban areas, between African-American and overall American net worth.


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