‘Rural America at a Glance’: Tough News
[imgbelt img=employment_decline.png]The annual snapshot of economic conditions in nonmetro America shows fewer jobs, more poverty and a declining population.
[imgcontainer] [img:1-no_net_growth+copy.jpg][source]The red line shows that rural job creation has stalled while metro jobs have grown. Click the graphic for a larger version.
Folks looking for good news in the 2013 “Rural America at a Glance” report had better pack a lunch – you could be hunting for a while.
The annual report from the Economic Research Service of USDA shows that job growth in nonmetro counties has stalled, poverty has spread and the rural population shrank in real terms for the first time since the federal government started tracking this statistic generations ago.
One bright spot in the economic and demographic report is that rural unemployment is declining. But that’s because there are fewer people looking for work, not because there are more jobs.
Significant regional variation also provides a hint of what might be to come for rural America, as manufacturing jobs decline and energy jobs expand.
[imgcontainer] [img:employment_decline.png] [source]Economic Research ServiceGreen areas saw job growth. Red areas so no growth or a decline in jobs. Yellow areas are metro. Click the graphic for a larger version.