Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rural areas lost 330,000 jobs from January 2014 to January 2015; decline of oil and coal jobs to blame

Non-metro areas saw a loss of 330,000 jobs from January 2014 to January 2015, "reversing a year of economic improvement for rural America," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bill Bishop reports for the Daily Yonder. During that same period metro areas gained more than 3.1 million jobs. Overall, the workforce in rural counties decreased by 557,000 people from January 2014 to January 2015.

The main reason for the decrease in jobs is rural population loss in regions that the oil boom has begun to fade because of a drop in oil prices and in areas that have lost coal jobs, especially in Central Appalachia, Bishop writes. Oil areas were hit especially hard. For example, Williams County, North Dakota, lost 4,000 jobs and Carter County, Oklahoma, lost 6,000 jobs. (This interactive Yonder county-level map shows the number of jobs now, the number of jobs lost or gained and the unemployment rate for January 2015)

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