Report: Rural’s Rise: Shifting Trends in Rural and Urban Job Postings | Emsi Burning Glass

Workforce Trends

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been reports on how remote work is one reason people continue to move from cities to less dense, rural areas. One benefit for a segment of those making these moves is that they can move to less expensive housing markets while retaining their higher incomes earned in more expensive labor markets. And according to this new 16-page report by Emsi Burning Glass, job postings are following them. As a point of reference, the researchers define a county’s urban-ness by the percentage of the county population that lives within urbanized (50k or more people) or urban cluster (at least 2,500 people and less than 50k) areas. Rural counties have less than 40% of their population in such areas. For example, Pika County, Kentucky, is 12% urban, while New York City is 100%. Leveraging a database of over 1 billion current and historical job postings, the researchers found that 1) nine of the ten counties with the highest growth in job posting share from 2019 to 2021 are rural. This rural job growth isn’t limited to specific sectors. 2) Since 2019, remote job postings from urban-based employers have grown 102 percent, likely contributing to the population shift away from urban areas. And while many jobs cannot be done remotely regardless of location, leaders can use the data points in this report as one of several sources for informing their talent strategies. As a bonus article, check out the Economic Innovation Group’s article, How Remote Work is Shifting Population Growth Across the U.S.

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