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RURAL STORIES

Still Unemployed in Burns, Oregon

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Ethan Lindsey returned to Burns to find Rust still in search of a paycheck.

The unemployment rate in Oregon remains one of the worst rates in the nation. But if unemployment is mediocre in urban areas, it’s truly awful in rural parts of Oregon. In Harney County, the unemployment rate is above 19 percent. Many of Oregon’s formerly timber-heavy counties share those scary numbers. From Burns, we’ve been tracking the story of Mike Rust, a 61-year-old natural gas pipeline worker jobless for 15 months. Ethan Lindsey returned to Burns to find Rust still in search of a paycheck. December 30, 2009

The Rural Economy Project

The Rural Economy Project is a partnership between community organizations and Oregon Public Broadcasting to showcase the stories of successful entrepreneurs, people trying to make ends meet, and communities working to build stable, vital economies in Oregon’s rural towns. The stories are designed to inspire sustainable community building and raise awareness of RIPPLE resources available to small business owners and the unemployed. Look for related blog posts from Rural Economy Project bloggers Lily Brislen and Bruce Sorte.