Suburbanites are more likely to participate in the labor force than are city dwellers, and their unemployment rates are usually lower as well. These labor-market outcomes for suburbanites and city dwellers hold across the major age, sex, race, and educational attainment groups. In addition, groups that usually have poorer labor market outcomes are overrepresented in cities.
This summary compares labor force participation and unemployment rates for persons living in the 25 largest central cities with those of persons living in the suburbs of those cities. The data (1997 annual averages) were collected through the Current Population Survey (CPS), a nationwide monthly survey of some 50,000 households. It should be noted that the CPS is a survey of households, not employers. Thus, the classification of people as city dwellers or suburbanites depends on where they live, not where they work.