Tags: mobile | jobs | moving | economy

Americans Least Mobile in Moving for Jobs Since WWII

Image: Americans Least Mobile in Moving for Jobs Since WWII
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 02 Aug 2017 10:14 PM

Residents in rural areas in an economic slump triggered by the decline of manufacturing and farm consolidation aren't looking for greener pastures as Americans used to do in previous hard times, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the Journal, the overall mobility of the U.S. population is now at its lowest level since measurements were first taken at the end of World War II — and fell by almost half since its most recent peak in 1985.

In rural America — besieged by socioeconomic problems once reserved for inner cities — the rate of people who moved across a county line in 2015 was just 4.1 percent, a Wall Street Journal analysis found.

That number is down from 7.7 percent in the late 1970s —and has fallen faster than the mobility rate in metropolitan areas, according to the Journal.

The drop in mobility is not just keeping rural residents from bettering their lives, it's choking off the labor supply for employers in areas where jobs are plentiful, limiting economic growth, David Schleicher, a professor at Yale Law School, told the Journal.

"We're locking people out from the most productive cities," Peter Ganong, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Chicago who studies migration, told the Journal. "This is a force that widens the urban-rural divide."

Shiloh Maier, 38, is desperate to leave West Branch, Mich., and move to Grand Rapids to be closer to her young daughter who lives with her ex-husband. She's applied for 70 jobs this year, but has lost out to younger graduates, which are cheap and abundant in the state's second-largest city.

"I'm stuck," she told the Journal.

The lack of mobility also has contributed to the nation’s deepening political divide, the Journal reported – it was small-town residents who fed a populist revolt that helped put Donald Trump in the White House last year, and reinforced the administration’s plan to focus on issues such as curbing immigration and creating jobs through infrastructure spending.

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Residents in rural areas in an economic slump triggered by the decline of manufacturing and farm consolidation aren't looking for greener pastures as Americans used to do in previous hard times, the Wall Street Journal reports.
mobile, jobs, moving, economy
329
2017-14-02
Wednesday, 02 Aug 2017 10:14 PM
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