A new monthly survey released by bankers on Thursday reveals that rural areas in 10 states continue to show strong growth. These rural areas, located in the Plains and Western states, have continued to show growth as their economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Three of these states even have more jobs than they did before the pandemic even started.
The bankers surveyed in this monthly report are from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
According to this survey, the Rural Mainstreet economic index has slipped in June to 70. May had a record high of 78.8. However, while the index may have slipped in June, this number is still in positive territory, so this isn’t cause for concern yet. A score above 50 signals a growing economy in the Rural Mainstreet economic index. A score below 50 signals a shrinking economy. So, while June’s index may have fallen slightly from May’s record high, it is still at a good number.
The hiring index for these regions also remained high. In June, the index was at 71.7. Again, this reading is lower than May’s, which was at 72.7.
This latest survey also revealed that three states have more jobs than they did before the pandemic even started more than a year ago. These three states include Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
However, there are still many areas that do need to continue growing in these rural regions, as not everything is back to the pre-pandemic levels that most hope for. For example, nonfarm jobs in these regions remain 2% below pre-pandemic levels. As long as jobs and the economy continues to grow in these areas — and it looks like they will, thus far — this percentage should continue to rise.
Rural areas in the United States are doing well as the economy speedily recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic for many different reasons. The survey suggests growing exports, low-interest rates, and strong grain prices as examples as to why these areas are growing.
The survey also reveals that the bankers surveyed in the report remain optimistic about how the economy will fair in 2021. These rural areas have continued to grow, and they believe that, as long as the economy continues at the rate it’s currently going, this growth will only continue.
Of course, all economic analysts are wary about being too hopeful — something many were when the United States first began to attempt to get out of the recession brought on by the pandemic. However, now it does appear that the economy is speeding on ahead. Nationwide, the United States is expected to experience a growth not seen since the 1980s.
It appears this growth won’t just be concentrated in populous areas in the nation. This survey suggests as much, as certain rural areas have already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, which most of the nation has not. In fact, most of the nation (and most business industries) won’t reach these numbers until, at the very earliest, late this year or early next year.