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Finding child care is tough for farming families. The next farm bill could help.

Jan 11, 2024
Most day care centers cater to parents with 9-to-5 jobs. New funding could help child care facilities expand their offerings.
Jamie Viramontes with her children, Cayden and Gracie, on their family farm in New Mexico. Local child care centers cater to people with 9-to-5 jobs, Jamie says.
Courtesy Jamie Viramontes

When Amazon comes to town, rural post offices struggle to keep up with deliveries

Dec 11, 2023
When thousands of Amazon packages arrived overnight, it wreaked havoc on a post office in Bemidji, Minnesota.
Last year, the USPS lost $6.5 billion. Delivering for Amazon is a way the agency offsets its costs.
Daria Nipot/Getty Images

The rural-urban income divide persists, and it may be widening

Nov 30, 2023
Cities are home to high-paid business services and rural areas have lost manufacturing, contributing to the 23% gap in earnings.
While the gap between the earnings of rural and urban workers is growing, inflation is a particular problem for rural residents. Above, a truck carries livestock feed near Wray, Colorado.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New energy projects are coming to small towns. Where will workers live?

Jul 11, 2023
The Biden administration is eyeing nuclear as one solution to ‘clean’ energy, but as a new nuclear plant moves into a rural community in Wyoming, there's another challenge — housing shortages for workers.
Kemmerer, Wyoming is known for both its prehistoric fossils and its fossil fuel industry.
Caitlin Tan for Marketplace

What rurally-based companies can teach us about shrinking labor pools

Jun 21, 2023
A remote corner of the U.S. might offer insight into how companies can work with the labor market they've got.
Rural companies in areas with low populations have to find ways to attract and retain workers.
Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Going once, going twice, gone! Farm auctions are moving online, and that's changing a rural tradition

Jun 5, 2023
Farm auctions — a marketplace for knickknacks, farm land and everything in between — are often also social gathering spaces for rural communities. That’s changing as more auctions go online.
Auctioneer Ryan Creamer calls a bid from inside the trailer cab, while Austin Creamer monitors online bidding from a laptop. At this farm auction, Creamer said live auctions with internet bidders are the best selling opportunities.
Elizabeth Rembert/Harvest Public Media

High inflation looks different, hits harder, in rural America

Sep 2, 2022
Rising costs and slower-growing incomes cut small town households’ discretionary income by 38% in the last year, pressuring a way of life.
Recent inflation is eating into rural households’ savings and disposable incomes faster than those of urbanites, according to research from Iowa State University.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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In rural areas, the high cost of diesel is driving up the cost of doing business

Aug 30, 2022
Rural Americans often travel longer distances or use diesel-based equipment, so they are disproportionately affected by fuel prices.
People living in rural areas are feeling the squeeze of higher diesel prices because they often drive longer distances and use diesel-reliant equipment.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Inflation hits harder in rural areas

Feb 9, 2022
The consumer price index captures how much urban residents spend on goods and services, but it misses some of the nuance of rural life.
Gasoline, which has been going up in price, takes a larger bite out of many rural residents' budgets because they drive longer distances than urbanites do.
David Becker/Getty Images

Some rural Americans worry about USPS cuts, closures

Jan 18, 2022
Since 2007, the United States Postal Service has reported net losses of nearly $100 billion.
Cost-saving measures for the United States Postal Service include the closure and consolidation of branches, especially in rural settings that heavily depend on the service.
Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images