As a result of the restructuring discussed above, since the 1960’s, the U.S. economy has experienced a decline of traditional, high-wage, highly unionized manufacturing employment in most metropolitan areas and a dispersal of these jobs from the traditional central city to the suburbs (Phillips and Vidal 1986), and to counties just outside the MSA (Nelson, Drummond, and Sawicki, 1993).
Schneider and Fernandez (1989) show that from 1972 to 1982: (1) the percentage of manufacturing jobs of all jobs across metropolitan areas decreased from 46 percent to 36 percent; and (2) service industry jobs (including government jobs) increased as a percentage of total jobs across metropolitan areas from 41 percent in 1972 to 51 percent in 1982. Both of these changes were due to advances in transportation, communication, and improvements to industrial technology (Downs 1994; 1993; Sassen 1994), and changing cost considerations of restructuring companies (Berry, 1994).
In their analysis of County Business Patterns published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Holzer and Vroman (1992) show that in six Northeast metropolitan areas central county manufacturing jobs decreased by 31 percent in the 1970’s, and by 35.2 percent in the 1980’s up to 1988. Furthermore, in eight metropolitan areas in the Northeast and Midwest, central county manufacturing job loss increased by 14 percent and 30.4 percent respectively for the same time period. For the South and West, manufacturing job loss occurred only during the period between 1980-88. Adding to this, Harrison and Bluestone (1982), Kasarda (1993), and Wilson (1987) found that the cities hardest hit by manufacturing job loss were in the Northeast and Midwest, and were typically older cities. For example, between 1967 and 1987, Detroit lost 51 percent of its manufacturing jobs; New York, 58 percent; Chicago 60 percent; and Philadelphia, 64 percent.