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Economy Continues to Lag in Rural Areas

When the recession first hit, states with economies largely dependent upon agriculture seemed to be only marginally affected as opposed to states with large urban populations. Nearly two years into the recession though, rural areas in middle America are being hit particularly hard by what is expected to be a deeper dip into the recession for the region. This information comes from a survey of business leaders and supply managers in nine Midwest and Plains states that was released today.

According to Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the monthly survey, “The significant decline in farm income for 2009 continues to weigh on firms with strong ties to agriculture and that is impacting agriculture-equipment manufacturers who have been hard hit by farmers’ reluctance to purchase new equipment.”

Goss also said 41% of supply managers surveyed in November anticipate layoffs at their companies in the months ahead.

Over the past year in the 9-states surveyed, the employment level is down by 400,000 or roughly a loss in about 3% of the total jobs.

Including Kansas, the survey included the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota , Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

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