|Year-to-year percentage change in jobs for each county, compared to the national employment rate change, which was -5.2%. Daily Yonder map; click here for the interactive version.|
Employment has fallen nationwide during the pandemic. Rural counties had fewer jobs to lose than suburban or urban areas and have generally regained jobs more quickly. But that trend may have stalled out in November, according to the latest employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In May 2020, rural employment was 8.8 percent lower than in May 2019. By November, the year-to-year employment rate was 3% lower. "Nationally, there were 5.2% fewer jobs this November compared to a year ago, only slightly better than the 5.1% deficit in October," Bill Bishop reports for The Daily Yonder. "But the rate of improvement softened from October to November in rural areas . . . The nation experienced a similar plateau in jobs recovery from August to September but saw modest job gains from September to October."
Job losses in rural America remain at about half that of major cities. "The central cities in the major metros had 2.86 million fewer jobs from November of 2019 to November 2020," Bishop reports. "Rural America had 617,000 fewer jobs in this same period."