The Daily Yonder's coverage of rural economic issues, including workforce development and the future of work in rural America, is supported in part by Microsoft.
About 1.3 million rural Americans who had jobs in July 2019 were unemployed one year later, according to the recent county-level employment data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
As tough as that sounds, the central areas of the nation’s largest cities had it worse.
Jobs in rural counties declined by 6.4% from July 2019 to July 2020, the BLS data shows.
In the core counties of major metropolitan areas, there were 10.1% fewer jobs for the same period. That’s a drop of 4.5 million jobs.
Nationally, jobs declined by 8.5% in the past year, a drop of 10.3 million.
Nine out of 10 rural counties lost jobs in the last year.
Similarly, the unemployment rates in July 2020 were considerably higher in large metro areas and central cities than in rural America. The unemployment rate in rural counties this July was just over 8%.
In the central counties in the metro areas of a million or more, the rate this July was 12.3%. The national unemployment rate in July, according to BLS, was 10.5%.
The number of people looking for jobs in central counties in the nation’s largest cities more than doubled from July 2019 to July 2020 (from 1.9 million to 4.5 million). The number of unemployed in rural counties went up nearly 90 percent, from just over 900,000 to 1.7 million.
The nation added about 1.7 million jobs from June to July, after large losses from the economic shutdown from the pandemic. (That figure is not seasonally adjusted.)
The map above shows the change in jobs from July 2019 to July 2020. Click on a county to find local jobs numbers.