In December 2007 the U.S. economy entered a depression and unemployment surged to highs not seen in 30 years. The first part of this paper uses the most recently available data from BLS to examine the geography of the recession. We focus on the similarities and differences in the recession’s impact on nonmetropolitan and metropolitan counties, and counties with different economic and demographic characteristics. The second part looks at the Federal response to the recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Using publicly available data, we explore how these funds are being allocated across rural and urban counties and county classifications, and the potential implications of these funds on local rural labor markets and economies as a whole.


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