But they acknowledged that the survey might show that there was less of a connection than many analysts had contended between the jobless rate and impoverished neighborhoods and the incidence of disorders such as those last month.
Looters were compared to a randomly selected group of defendants arraigned between June 6 and June 12. Looters were more likely to be employed (42 v 30), less likely to be on welfare (10 v 16), and less likely to be unemployed but not on welfare. Looting involved a lot of people with prior arrest records. A lot of people just joined in when they knew they could.
excerpt from NYT 8/14/77