In Minnesota and nation, a look at rural jobs lost

I’m doing a little double duty these days, helping out as temporary editor of MPR’s Minnesota Today site while still trying to keep posting here.

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So I’m leaning on colleagues this week and next to help find cool stuff to post. Today, Dave Peters, who oversees MPR’s Ground Level project, shot me an interesting look at the job winners and losers in the nation’s rural counties.

Here’s a look at the chart, from the web site Daily Yonder:

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Here’s the breakdown by Minnesota county, showing unemployment rates in July 2007 and July 2010 and the difference over three years in the number of employed people.

I don’t quite know what to make of it. McLeod, Crow Wing, Winona and Steele were the counties that lost more than 1,000 jobs the past three years. But if there’s one explanation that covers those counties, I don’t see it.

As we’ve written before, the pattern of job losses and job opportunities seems to have cut a tornado like path across Minnesota.

Nationally, the researchers note:

There are nearly 1.2 million fewer jobs in rural counties this July than there were in July 2007, just a few months before the recession officially started. Yet, in five states — Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, North Dakota and Texas — the number of rural jobs has increased in those three years.

Take a look at the Minnesota data and let me know what you think.

And let’s hope for good numbers tomorrow when the Department of Employment and Economic development delivers Minnesota’s jobless data for August.

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