As we described in our 2018 report on the workforce housing shortage, many communities in Greater Minnesota are facing a workforce shortage with well-paying jobs going unfilled. The biggest barriers to attracting workers in to fill these jobs, workforce experts tell us, are a lack of child care and a lack of available housing. But why is there a housing shortage in rural communities? The population is shrinking in rural counties, right? Shouldn’t there then be a lot of housing standing around empty?