Most metro areas had regained jobs lost during the pandemic by September 2023, and many had exceeded pre-pandemic employment rates. Not so in rural America, according to research drawing on Bureau of Labor Statistics data starting in September 2019. Only 43% of rural areas have returned to pre-pandemic or better employment numbers. The analysis cites three key factors affecting rural jobs: lack of day care, lower levels of education and an aging population that is leaving the workforce. Some states are notable exceptions, with strong growth in urban and rural job numbers, including Florida, Idaho, Montana and Oklahoma.
Source: Rural Jobs Grew a Percentage Point in September, but the Longer-Term Trend Is Still a Problem | The Daily Yonder