Apr 18, 2013 11:55 AM EDT

Recession Slowed But Did Not Hinder 'Job Sprawl'

The Recession has slowed but did not stop the shift of jobs away from the nation's cities over the past decade, according to a Brookings Institution report.

City centers gained a greater share of employment than their outer rings between 2007 and 2010, the public policy think tank said Thursday. Big suburban job losses, not large downtown gains, drove the shift and metropolitan economies are more decentralized than they were in 2000. 

While the Great Recession stalled the outward shift of employment by 2010, nearly twice the share of jobs (43 percent) were located at least 10 miles away from downtown as within three miles of a central business district (23 percent).

"Job sprawl continued steadily," says Elizabeth Kneebone, author of the report and fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.

The impact of the recession was greatest on the outer-rings of metro areas, where steep employment losses between 2007 and 2010 contributed to a slight drop in the share of jobs located at least 10 miles away from downtown, according to the report, "Job Sprawl Stalls: The Great Recession and Metropolitan Employment Location."

The report found that it's even harder for poorer people without access to a car to get a job as its more difficult to get to work. can make it harder to physically get to a job. For those with a car, it can lead to longer commute times and more money spent on gas.

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