|City workers make about 23% more than rural workers.|
(Campaign creators photo, Unsplash)
“In cities, people earn about 23% more than people in rural areas, according to new data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,” Trovall reports. “That difference was more like 20% before the pandemic.”
The pay gap hasn’t always been so pronounced. According to Trovall’s report, “Rural areas were catching up to city wages, mostly because of new technology coming to smaller communities. ‘Then, around 1980, this all changed,'’’ said Conor Walsh of the Columbia Business School.
|The loss of manufacturing jobs hurt rural incomes.|
(Pitti.edu photo, Unsplash)
“That’s when the lucrative business services sector took off in places like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco,” Trovall reports. “’In particular, finance, tech and professional services,’ Walsh said. . . . “At the same time, manufacturing jobs started leaving rural America, which helped to widen the gap.”
In addition, there's the long-standing difficulty of getting college-educated students from rural areas to return home after graduation instead of taking higher-paying jobs in larger cities.