Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rural counties have yet to recover jobs losses from recession; metro counties have added jobs

While urban areas have recovered job losses from the 2007 recession, rural areas are still a long way from recovering, Bill Bishop reports for the Daily Yonder. Metro areas now have more people working than when the recession began, but rural counties had 556,000 fewer jobs in November 2014 than in November 2007, one month before the recession began. The recession officially ended in June 2009.

"There are 1,260 rural counties with fewer people working than seven years ago; 711 rural counties have more jobs than in November 2007," Bishop writes. In comparison, 633 urban counties have fewer jobs, and 533 have more jobs. The rural unemployment rate has risen since the recession, from 4.8 percent in November 2007 to 5.5 percent in November 2014. In urban counties, the unemployment rate has increased from 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

The biggest job gains were in Texas and North Dakota, two states that have benefited greatly from the oil and gas boom, Bishop writes. The biggest losses were in the Appalachian coalfields, rural Michigan, the Sun Belt South, patches of the Mountain West and New England. (Yonder map: To view an interactive version, click here)

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