Monday, December 22, 2014

Rural Jobless Rate Lowest In Four Years

11/05/2012

Rural unemployment rates in September 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics/Daily Yonder This map shows the unemployment rates in rural and exurban counties in September. And it shows whether those rates have been rising or falling in the last year. Click on the map to see a larger version.

Unemployment in rural America has dropped to its lowest level in almost four years, according to figures released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment rates in rural counties in September dropped to 7.4 percent, according to the BLS. The last time the BLS found unemployment that low in rural America was in November of 2008, when rates stood at 6.7 percent.

Unemployment rates in rural counties were lower than rates in urban counties for the sixth straight month. Unemployment rates in the cities averaged 7.7 percent in September. That was the lowest urban rate since December 2008, when the city rate was 7 percent.

Rural unemployment rates in September 2012

The unemployment rate in exurban counties fell to 7 percent in September, according to the BLS. Exurban counties are in metropolitan regions, but about half their residents live in rural areas. Exurban unemployment rates have been the lowest during this recession. Still, the last time the exurban rate was this low was in November 2008.

The map above shows all rural and exurban counties. The counties in blue were either at or below the national unemployment rate in September of 7.6 percent, according to the BLS. 

Click on the map to see a larger version.

Red counties were above the national unemployment rate.

Dark blue counties had rates this September that are below the rate found in September of 2011. Light blue counties had low unemployment rates, but those rates were higher than a year ago.

Light red/orange counties had unemployment rates that were higher than the national average, but lower than September of 2011.

Dark red counties faced a double whammy. They had high rates that were rising. These counties are concentrated in the coal region of Appalachia and in southern Colorado.

More than nine out of ten rural and exurban counties had lower unemployment rates this September than September a year ago. Only 176 out of more than 2600 counties had higher rates than a year ago.

And two-thirds of rural and exurban counties had rates that were at or below the national average.

Moreover, those rates have been steadily dropping.

Here is a map showing all rural and exurban counties. Pink counties are at or below the national unemployment rate of 7.6% in September.

Yellow counties are above the national average unemployment. Two-thirds of rural America had unemployment rates at or below the national average in September. 

Click on the map to see a larger version.

Rural unemployment rates in September 2012