Annual Figures Show Slight Rise in Rural Jobs, But Gap With Metro Widens

The most recent annual employment figures show that metropolitan America is adding jobs at a faster rate than rural America. Nonmetropolitan America still doesn't have as many jobs as it did before the recession, annual figures show.... READ MORE

In Small-Town America, the Public Housing Crisis Nobody’s Talking About

The shuttering of public housing complexes in two small Midwestern towns raises big questions for residents, HUD and Congress. To tell the story, I could use your help.... READ MORE

Gary, Minn., Shows Small Town’s Big Talents

A forest project in northwest Minnesota highlights how a small community can partner with a university to improve an important community resource. Some other small towns are starting to take notice of the success.... READ MORE

Parting Shots: The Last Potluck

Da Vinci and a homecoming in Eastern Kentucky.... READ MORE

Rural Job Recovery Varies by County Industry

Since the Great Recession of 2008, rural employment is down 4% using the latest annual reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hardest hit are counties where mining (including oil and natural gas production) predominates. Though still in the negative, manufacturing counties are closer to pre-recession levels than other nonmetro areas.... READ MORE

New USDA Loan Program Helps Maine Nonprofit Invest in Community

A state-of-the-art YMCA opens later this month in the midcoast community of Damariscotta, Maine. It’s one of two projects that are benefiting from Coastal Enterprises’ participation in a new Ag Department investment program.... READ MORE

Farm Bill Should Do More for Rural Health and Hospitals

Hospitals are economic linchpins for rural communities, health advocates say. The farm bill ought to sharpen its focus on preventing more rural hospital closures.... READ MORE

Government, Private Watchdog Groups Call for End to Self-Bonding by Coal Companies

Since passage of the federal surface-mine law in 1977, coal companies have been on the hook to reclaim disturbed land when mining ends. Too many of them have wriggled off through bankruptcy, say reports from conservation groups and the federal government.... READ MORE

Farm Bill Draft Gives Ag Secretary Power to Declare Rural Health Emergency

The House version of the farm bill released Thursday would expand work requirements for food stamp recipients and cut spending in the nutrition program by $93 billion over 10 years.... READ MORE

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