As we were wrapping up work in International Falls this week for the Daily Circuit special “Rethinking a Company Town,” the federal Economic Research Service put out a sobering view of rural employment.
As the country came out of the recession, metro and non-metro areas grew employment at similar rates. But that’s changed. Since the beginning of 2011, metro employment has risen at an annual rate of 1.4 percent. Non-metro employment has been flat.
Minnesota’s loss of 265 paper mill jobs in International Falls as of Oct. 1 didn’t help the trend line.
Indeed, rural Minnesota doesn’t look so good on this national map. Green is job growth (think North Dakota oil fields). Red is not good.