Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Job growth in rural U.S. lags; map shows local data

"Job growth in rural America continues to lag the rest of the nation, according to the latest data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics," Bill Bishop reports for The Daily Yonder.

A Yonder analysis found that the U.S. added more than 1.7 million jobs from August 2017 to August 2018, but only 38,000 were in rural counties. The lion's share, more than two-thirds, went to metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people. And while rural areas scored 12.9 percent of U.S. jobs in August 2018, they only got 2.2 percent of the jobs created in the previous 12 months, Bishop reports. Rural unemployment is about 4 percent, mostly because the number of people with jobs and the number of people looking for jobs decreased more than 93,000 last year.

Only about half of all rural counties gained jobs, while almost 90 percent of the largest metropolitan areas did. The more rural a county, the worse it fared: counties that don't touch any metro area lost jobs over the past year. An interactive map shows which counties gained or lost jobs.
Job changes from August 2017 to August 2018 (Daily Yonder map; click here for the interactive version)
"The map tells some rural stories. For instance, the coal mining counties of Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia continue to lose jobs well into the second year of the Trump administration. The Great Plains have lost jobs, a result, perhaps, of the falloff of the oil and gas industry," Bishop reports.

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