Labor-market conditions impact both individual and community well-being. Important indicators of labor-market conditions include the unemployment rate, employment growth, and earnings levels.
Educational attainment is closely linked to labor-market outcomes, as those who are more highly educated generally receive higher earnings and are less likely to be unemployed. Rural (nonmetropolitan) areas are closing the gap with urban (metropolitan) areas in high school completion, but the college completion gap is growing. Workers with a college background generally fare better in the labor market. This is especially true in urban areas.
A summary of rural employment topics (among other rural issues) is found in the Rural America at a Glance series, updated in the fall of each year. See the latest in the series:
For a summary of conditions and trends in education in rural areas, see the ERS report: