Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rural America has lost over 1 million jobs during recession

Analysis of the recessions impact on rural America has revealed wide variances across regions, but few rural places have thrived since the start of the recession in 2007. In comparing the number of rural jobs in July 2007, just a few month before the beginning of the recession, and the most recent available job data, shows rural America lost 1.2 million jobs during that period, Bill Bishop and Roberto Gallardo report for The Daily Yonder. Still five states, Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, North Dakota and Texas, have actually gained rural jobs during the recession.

"None of those states added many jobs," Bishop and Gallardo write. "North Dakota, in the middle of an oil and gas boom, increased its number of rural jobs by just over two percent in the last three years, the largest percentage increase in the country." Four states, Michigan, Alabama, West Virginia and Georgia, lost over 10 percent of their rural jobs during the period. North Carolina had lost the largest number of rural jobs at just under 111,000. (Read more)
Daily Yonder chart

The USDA Economic Research Service takes a slightly different look at similar information in the just-released 2010 Rural America at a Glance (PDF).  The USDA plotted how rural job loss/gain compared to the U.S. average. The maps looked similar, with some job growth in the Midwest, but job loss around the periphery of the country. The USDA also plotted population mobility across rural America, which showed some growth in the Northwest, but pockets of growth sprinkled across the country.

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