Job Accessibility in Southwest Baltimore
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Job accessibility is a question of how many jobs are available in a given area, and whether or not area residents are physically able to get to them via car, transit, or other modes of transportation. In addition, it is a question of whether these jobs are a “good fit” for the residents who have access to them—whether or not these jobs offer wages that are competitive and whether or not these jobs require skills and experience consistent with employees’ training and education. This study develops a preliminary understanding of the employment challenges and opportunities facing Southwest Partnership (SWP) residents by mapping selected Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics (LEHD) and American Community Survey (ACS) data related to employment and commuting. It finds that SWP residents live close to a substantial number of jobs at all wage and skill levels, with average commutes that are consistent with City-wide averages. Nevertheless there is room for improvement. In particular, SWP residents would benefit from programs that match local residents with nearby opportunities and improved multimodal transportation access. It concludes that the SWP should continue to highlight its potential as a central, relatively well-connected area where improvements in infrastructure and educational attainment levels can have a big impact. Targeted improvements in these areas could both enhance the quality of life for existing residents and attract new residents to the community.