Two out of every three rural counties in America have gained jobs since November 2010, according to a recent analysis of federal employment data.

The more than 2,000 rural counties in the U.S. added just under 300,000 jobs between November 2010 and November 2011, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Rural counties gained jobs at a pace even with the rest of the country in the last year.

The job gains have contributed to a steady lowering of the unemployment rate in rural America. Unemployment in rural counties stood at 8.1% in November, according to the BLS. That’s a lower rate than for any month since December 2008, when unemployment in rural counties stood at 7.6%. The recession officially began one year earlier, in December 2007.

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