Rural Unemployment Ticks Up

For the first time since March, unemployment in rural America moved ahead of urban counties in December 2011.

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Unemployment in rural America ticked up in December, rising to 8.4 percent in December, according to data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment in December was higher in rural counties than in exurban counties, where the rate was 7.9 percent or in urban counties, where the December rate was 8.3 percent. 

The rural rate had been falling since June 2011, when the unemployment rate stood at 9.2 percent. The rate reached a low point in November, when the percentage of the rural workforce that was unemployed stood at 8.1 percent.

The rural rate had been lower than the urban rate since March.

The monthly BLS jobless figures are not seasonally adjusted. Exurban counties are metro communities according to the Census Bureau but have about half their residents living in rural settings. Rural counties are non-metropolitan, according to the Census.





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