America’s male employment crisis is both urban and rural

Source: Alan Berube, Brookings Institution, December 5, 2016

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, many analysts have interpreted Donald Trump’s victory as the product of economic anxiety among the white working class—particularly in the smaller towns and rural areas that provided his electoral margin in closely contested states like North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

This piece does not purport to explain why people voted the way they did, or what role economic factors played in their decisions. Rather, it acknowledges that the state of the economy in small-town and rural America highlighted throughout the campaign and after the election surely deserves attention….