Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rural unemployment rates rose in February, especially in the most rural counties

Rural unemployment rates have been on the rise, with the share of jobless in the most rural counties increasing from January to February from 7.9 percent in January to 8.6 percent in February, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data processed by the Daily Yonder. Unemployment in counties with 10,000 to 50,000 residents rose from 7.4 percent to 8 percent, and unemployment in metro areas rose from 6.9 percent to 7.4 percent.

"During the early years of the recession, which began in late 2007, rural areas often had lower unemployment rates than cities. In the last few years, however, unemployment rates in rural America have surpassed those in metropolitan counties," Bill Bishop writes for the Yonder. "The reason the unemployment rates in micropolitan and rural counties dropped at all over the last year, despite only a slight gain in the number of jobs, is that there are fewer people looking for work."

Since February of last year, rural and micropolitan counties have gained 140,000 jobs, Bishop writes. "Metropolitan counties have have added more than 1.75 million jobs. Meanwhile, the total number of workers in rural and micropolitan counties has dropped by more than 100,000." (Read more) (To view the interactive Yonder map click here)

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