US map graphicBy Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

While rural residents across the nation continue to find jobs, the pace at which they’re doing so still lags significantly behind urban employment gains, according to the Daily Yonder’s analysis.

Recently released Bureau of Labor statistics demonstrate that the number of jobs in rural counties increased by 4.8 percent in the past year, while job growth in urban areas was 13.3 percent.

In the American West, increased employment is most recognizable in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, while the coastal states, Nevada and the Southwest suffered more job losses.

These findings reflect, too, the latest Census Bureau data on income and poverty which show that households across rural America saw their incomes drop by 2 percent between 2014 and 2015: from $45,534 to $44,657. Meanwhile, suburban and urban incomes increased by 4 and 7.3 percent, respectively.

Results from both sources show that rural areas are having a different experience from the rest of the country when it comes to the economic recovery.

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