Monday, August 06, 2012

Rural job-growth rate is half that of urban areas

Daily Yonder map; click on it for larger version
Jobs in rural counties grew only half as fast as in urban counties in the last year, Bill Bishop of the Daily Yonder found after analyzing figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They show that in the 12 months beginning in June 2011, the latest period for which county data is available, jobs in urban counties increased by 1.77 percent while those in rural counties rose only 0.86 percent. Exurban counties had 1.6 percent more jobs, the same as the national rate. (Exurban counties lie within standard metropolitan statistical areas, but have half their residents living in rural settings.)

In real numbers, that means that in rural counties, there are 194,000 more jobs this June than June a year ago. In exurban counties, there are 201,000 more jobs and in urban counties there are 1,874,000.

 Many counties lost jobs over the last year, Bishop notes. One-third of rural and exurban counties had fewer people working this June than last. The largest disparity between rural and urban employment in June 2012 was in South Carolina, where the unemployment rate in June was 8.9 percent in urban areas and 12.2 in rural counties. The rural unemployment rate was in double digits in eight other states: Arizona (11%); California (12.1); Georgia (11); Mississippi (10.9); North Carolina (11); Oregon (10); and Tennessee (10.4). (Read more)

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