Policy brief from the James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research | Idaho at a Glance. February 2010 | Nationwide, the current economic recession officially began in December 2007. The recession didn’t hit rural Idaho until about a year later, when some small communities began to experience very steep declines. The hardest hit counties in the state – all rural – are located in central and northern Idaho. Rural counties that are more dependent on agriculture, mainly in the south, are weathering the recession better than the state as a whole. Though some small communities have been hit hard, employment trends in rural Idaho have generally been more stable than in urban parts of the state. Employment in rural Idaho has tended to grow less during boom times and decline more slowly during recessionary periods. Rural Idaho accounts for 30% of the state’s population now, down from
33% in 2001. Out-migration from rural Idaho has slowed since the recession began, as it has in rural America as a whole.