Thursday, May 09, 2013

Unemployment rate drops in rural counties, but so does number of jobs

Unemployment rates in rural America are falling, but the number of jobs is also declining, reports Bill Bishop of the Daily Yonder. From March 2012 to March 2013, the rural unemployment rate dropped from 8.7 percent to 8.3 percent, but jobs declined by more than 55,000, with 60 percent of counties reporting a decrease in jobs. Apparently,the workforce in those areas is shrinking, from people dropping out or moving out.

Almost all the jobs were lost in towns with fewer than 10,000 people, Bishop reports. The unemployment rate in rural America is now higher than in urban areas, where the unemployment rate fell from 8 percent to 7.6 percent. Jobs in urban areas are also flourishing, with an increase of 1.2 million jobs since March 2012. The Yonder map links to an interactive version with county data. 

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