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Job Growth is Found to be No Cure for a Community's Poverty

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A healthy dose of job growth has long been seen as a likely cure for poverty. But new research suggests that poor Americans are frequently left behind even when their cities or communities benefit from hiring booms.

When such cities as Atlanta and Charlotte enjoyed a job surge in the 20 years that began in 1990, for example, the job gains mostly bypassed residents who had been born into poverty.

That is among the findings of a study led by Raj Chetty, a Harvard economist who found no association between job growth and economic mobility for poor residents of the affected areas.

His finding challenges much conventional thinking, of government officials, business executives and economists, that job gains are the surest way to lift up people in impoverished communities.

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