Friday, February 19, 2016

Rural areas add jobs but jobless rate up in nearly 40% of rural counties as jobs become more urban

Rural areas added 232,000 jobs from December 2014 to December 2015, but the unemployment rate rose in nearly 40 percent of rural counties during that time, according to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by Bill Bishop for the Daily Yonder: "A total of 789 rural counties had unemployment rates unchanged or higher than a year ago," while metro areas added 1.98 million jobs and "only 26 percent of metro counties reported higher unemployment rates than a year before."

"The federal figures show a gradual shift of jobs from rural America to the cities," Bishop writes. "Nearly nine out of 10 of the jobs added in the last year were in urban counties. As a result, the percentage of jobs in cities is slowly creeping higher. In December 2015, 86.7 percent of all jobs were in urban counties. The unemployment rate in rural America was 5.6 percent in December 2015. In micropolitan counties (those with cities between 10,000 and 50,000 people), the rate was 5.2 percent. In urban counties, the unemployment rate in December was 4.7 percent." (Yonder map)

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