The Springfield (Missouri) Business Journal notes that the housing construction slump is hitting small towns. That is certainly true in the Central Valley of California, where unemployment has spiked, due largely to the decline in the construction business. The Business Journal says the same thing is happening in exurban Missouri.
“From 2005 to 2007, Marshfield, Nixa, Ozark, Willard, Rogersville, Republic and Battlefield reported more than 3,000 housing starts combined,” reported Jennifer Muzinic. “Last year, there were less than 200 homes started in those seven communities collectively, according to building permits filed in each city.”
These are all exurban communities. Most fully rural counties are happy if their populations stay even. Still, it is clear that the sprawl that was including exurban and some rural communities has stopped — and with that hiatus, plenty of jobs have been lost.