Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Rural unemployment is lower than it was a year ago, but rural counties and women still have high jobless rates

Job gains and losses from July 2019 to July 2021.
Daily Yonder map; click the image to enlarge it or click here for the interactive version.

According to the latest federal employment numbers, "only three out of 10 counties in the country had as many jobs this July as in July 2019, before anyone had heard of Covid-19. Rural and urban America are about the same on this measure. Only 30.8% of urban counties and 28.1% of rural counties have as many jobs now as they did two years ago," Bill Bishop reports for The Daily Yonder. "Things look better, however, when the employment figures from this July are compared to this time last year, after Covid-19 had hit. Only 18.5% of rural counties and just 2% of urban counties have fewer jobs this July than in July 2020."

But women are having a tough time, especially since federal supplemental unemployment benefits recently expired. "Government data also showed a drop in child-care employment and women’s participation in labor force — two areas that have been inextricably connected throughout the pandemic," Anne Branigin reports for The Lily, a publication of The Washington Post. "The dip was especially dramatic for women between the ages of 25 and 54."

Click here for more analysis from the Yonder, including an interactive map.

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