Rural counties lost fewer jobs during the pandemic-driven economic downturn than urban counties

Horizontal bar chart showing the percent employment year-over-year change in nonmetro counties (not persistent poverty), metro counties (not persistent poverty), nonmetro counties (persistent poverty) and metro (persistent poverty) from Jan. 2020-21

By late January 2022, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in 71 million cases and 860,000 deaths across the United States. The pandemic’s effects varied by location, however, with differences apparent in rural (nonmetro) and urban (metro) parts of the country, as well as between persistently poor counties and those that were not.

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