In the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West, the rural community is the backbone of the economy. It is one that we hope is realizing the benefits of a shifting workforce landscape. Yet most headlines focus on urban areas and national trends. To better understand what is really happening in the local rural communities, WGU's Northwest team partnered with WGU Labs to discover insights into how the employment landscape in rural regions of the Pacific Northwest and mountain West states shifted as the nation experienced and then emerged from the pandemic.