Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rural jobs up, jobless rate not down so much

Two-thirds of rural counties saw an increase in jobs between October 2009 and October 2010, but unemployment rate dropped just one tenth of a percent from September 2010 in rural, urban and exurban counties. The national rural unemployment rate stood at 8.8 percent in October, slightly less than the national rate of 9 percent, Bill Bishop and Roberto Gallardo report for the Daily Yonder. "Generally, the rural communities that were hit the hardest by the recession initially show the greatest decline in unemployment rates over the last year," Bishop and Gallardo write, pointing to the Carolinas, Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan as examples.

"The trend reverses as you head west of the Mississippi, where rates are often higher than a year ago," Bishop and Gallardo write, pointing to Colorado, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, California, western Montana and parts of Oregon. Farming counties have seen unemployment rates remain remarkably low at 5.1 percent, Dante Chinni of PBS recently reported. Bishop and Gallardo caution that lower unemployment rates don't necessarily mean more jobs, as the decrease can also reflect a fewer number of people looking for work. (Read more) (Yonder map)

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