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The Unemployment Divide

Daily Yonder (03/28/2012) Bill Bishop

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says unemployment rates in rural counties rose to 9.1% in January from 8.4% in December, though the increase is part of an annual trend due to the laying off of seasonal workers. In fact, the rural unemployment rate has fallen 1 percentage point per year since 2010. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in exurban counties climbed to 8.6% in January from 7.9% in December. The national unemployment rate in January was 8.8%. Unemployment rates along the coasts and in the Southeast generally are above the national average, while in the middle of the country, especially in the Dakotas and Nebraska, unemployment rates are lower than the national average.

Lawmakers in South Dakota have passed legislation permitting the state to hire a recruitment agency to fill jobs across the state with 1,000 out-of-state workers. ManpowerGroup will be given the assignment, receiving $3,000 for every worker placed with a base salary under $40,000 and $5,100 for every worker placed with a base salary between $40,000 and $80,000.