This study is concerned with male labor mobility in 84 urban labor markets. Mobility studies have frequently used employment variables to approximate differential labor demands and to explain mobility. It would seem that supply factors, as well as demand factors, could exert an influence on mobility. To assess the influence of supply factors, new labor force entrants and withdrawals, along with labor demand variables, were regressed against gross in- and out-migration rates.

The results confirmed the hypothesis that labor mobility is substantially influenced by the economic and demographic characteristics of the urban labor market. Higher rates of in-migration were found in regions with higher rates of new employment opportunities. Where the demographic characteristics of the labor market result in larger labor supplies, out-migration rates were found to be higher and in-migration rates lower. Labor seems quite sensitive to differential labor market conditions and would appear to flow toward markets where an economic advantage lies. One interesting interpretation of the negative association between in-migration and wages is that employment opportunities may expand more rapidly in low-wage sectors, perhaps in the nonmanufacturing sector, thereby providing job opportunities which attract labor into the region.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.