Report: Rural Illinois Continues Losing Jobs, Population
Data collected between 2010 and 2012 indicate Illinois' nonmetro areas had the second highest losses of jobs in the nation.
The state of Arizona also saw a 1.8 percent decline in rural employment over the past two years, while losses were especially large in Arkansas - down 4.1 percent.
Those figures, released in USDA's annual Rural America at a Glance, paint a less-than-optimistic picture for counties outside of Illinois' urban and suburban cores. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a statement following the release of the report:
The fact is, too many people in rural America live in persistently-poor areas. Too many people still have trouble finding a good job. The populations of too many small towns and rural communities are shrinking...
Rural America needs a new Farm Bill now, to meet these modern challenges head on and chart a pathway for future economic success across our rural areas." -USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack