Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen M. Reding

Second Advisor

Dr. Barbara Liggett

Third Advisor

Dr. Janet Cooper

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Daniel Mihalko


Affirmative action public policy did not experience much debate when it was put in place during the late 1960’s. However, the debate is occurring in the 1990s. Its merits are being weighed and there are movements locally to eliminate affirmative action policy.

The Michigan construction industry is the focus of this study. This study examined not only these employment outcome benefits, but also outlines the outcome benefit trends over thirty-one years for national employment and employment in the state of Michigan with an emphasis on the construction industry. Details regarding white-collar and blue-collar occupational grouping trends as well as unemployment level trends are reviewed at the state of Michigan level. Eight interruption dates were initially identified for this study (1971, 1975, 1977, 1980,1989, 1991, 1992, and 1995), and a ninth interruption was added after initial analysis of data for the year 1981.

Employment data for the years 1968, 1972, 1974, 1976, and 1977 were not analyzed. A regression and time series were used to analyze the data for trends regarding employment at the national and state of Michigan percentage levels and the unemployment percentage level in Michigan for each protected group. A P-value of .05 or less was interpreted as being a significant interruption in the series. Analysis of the data indicated that each protected group equally shared the P-value of .05 percent or less and there was not significance as a result of affirmative action public policy in the employment of black protected groups compared with other protected groups over the time of this study.

Qualitative data were collected through the secondary source of archival documents. Qualitative results support the findings of the quantitative results.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access