close up employment application and pen By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

While employment in the nation’s largest cities continues to grow, rural America lost jobs last year, federal labor data show.

In the West, Nevada’s rural counties saw some of the worst unemployment in 2016. Of the state’s 14 non-metro counties, only three – Clark, Lincoln and Mineral – had increased employment. The rural Pacific Northwest including Idaho, by contrast, gained jobs last year following a steady trend in job losses. In the Southwest, New Mexico’s rural counties also had noticeable job gains.

According to an analysis by editors at the online Daily Yonder, the more rural the county, the steeper its job losses.

“The consistent theme of this latest jobs report,” they write, “is how employment is centered in the most urban of the nation’s counties. As counties get farther away from these giant metros, employment figures worsen.”

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