Get A Job: Labor Markets, Economic Opportunity And Crime

Submitted By gutz147
Words: 385
Pages: 2

Bob Crutchfield summarized his long career in the book Get a Job: Labor Markets, Economic Opportunity and Crime. It examines the relationship between jobs and crime. He wrote about his experience as a young black man growing up in Pittsburgh’s low-income Hill District and then working as a probation and parole officer in county and state government. In his book, Crutchfield divides jobs into two types: primary-sector and secondary sector. Primary-sector jobs offer decent pay, benefits and the opportunity for promotion. Secondary-sector employment offers dead-end jobs with low wages, no benefits and high levels of instability. Crutchfield’s bottom line is adult employment in primary-sector jobs reduces crime, while employment in secondary-sector jobs does not. The most obvious policy response here is to make sure that job creation efforts focus on primary-sector jobs. Crutchfield believes that starts with education. Children with high levels of attachment to their school are much less likely to act out and more likely to go on to primary-sector jobs. But Crutchfield worries that today’s “emphasis on testing and aggregate school performance may lead to student behaviors or administrative outcomes that promote estrangement from school and increased delinquency.” We should recognize that the purpose of business regulation is to limit the costs businesses impose on a community. Perhaps the creation of nothing but secondary-sector jobs is an externality we ought not to tolerate.