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.
Before you keep reading ...
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