That may be part of the problem but mostly its just that modern jobs and industry need density and a high degree of specialization. Businesses need access to high speed internet for example, they need to be near their clients, they need to be near airports, and near their contractors/suppliers. They isn't much reason to operate outside of rural areas therefore no jobs.
If you want to see failed economic policies you need look no further than the liberal city of Chicago so its not like democrats are doing much better, its just that Chicago has the the density to support industries.
Another interesting city to look at would be Vancover Canada. Its an infrastructure disaster, has astronomical house/real estate prices and not all that much for job/industry but for some reason it still is able to function.