Labor force participation (the share of the civilian population age 16+ who are employed or looking for work) is lower in nonmetro areas than in metro areas. Moreover, nonmetro labor-force participation rates are currently at a 30-year low. Differences, in part, reflect a higher proportion of elderly and disabled among the adult population in nonmetro areas, but also lower participation rates among working-age adults. The slow pace of the economic recovery in nonmetro areas may discourage working-age adults from seeking employment.
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