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Image: Rural Economy & Population

Recent Industrial Trends

Rural (nonmetro) industry employment earnings underwent major changes between 2001 and 2010.

  • Farming, forestry, and fishing inflation-adjusted earnings were together nearly 14 percent higher in 2010 than in 2001.  However, this disguises estimated declines of about 30 percent in both forestry and fishing, hidden by a 22 percent gain in farm earnings.
  • Mining, which had been shedding jobs and earnings in recent decades, experienced a substantial increase in earnings, due largely to growth of natural gas extraction from unconventional sources, particularly from shale.
  • Value-added manufacturing earnings declined as drops in wood products (29 percent), furniture (28 percent), and paper (17 percent) earnings were partially balanced by earnings growth in food processing (4 percent) and petroleum and coal products (30 percent).
  • Rural earnings in other manufacturing were hurt by the severe recession starting in late 2007, but global competition and technological change also played roles in rural manufacturing's long-term decline.
  • Earnings grew substantially in health and educational services and government over this period. Together these two sectors were responsible for 35 percent of all rural earnings in 2010.
Employment earnings by industry sector, 2010, and inflation-adjusted change over time
  Distribution, 2010 Change 2001-2010
Industry sector Metro Nonmetro Metro Nonmetro
  Percent Percent change
Farming, forestry & fishing1 0.6 5.4 5.5 13.5
Mining 0.7 2.7 11.8 42.4
Construction 5.3 5.8 -13.8 -7.9
Value-added manufacturing2 1.8 4.9 -11.7 -11.1
Other manufacturing 7.6 9.4 -20.5 -20.6
Transportation, wholesale, & warehousing 9.2 8.6 2.0 12.7
Producer & information services3 28.6 11.1 10.2 19.6
Real estate, rental & leasing 1.7 1.3 -25.9 -6.2
Retail & personal services 9.6 12.0 1.1 3.4
Private health & education services 12.9 11.5 39.0 31.8
Recreation4 4.3 4.0 14.1 12.6
Government5 17.7 23.3 27.9 22.5
Total 100.0 100.0 8.0 9.3
1/ Includes related services.
2/ Includes food, beverage and leather manufacturing; wood products, furniture and paper manufacturing; and petroleum and coal products manufacturing.
3/ Includes informational, financial, insurance, professional, scientific, management and administrative services.
4/ Includes entertainment and recreation, accommodations and eating places.
5/ Includes all public services, including public schools, public hospitals as well as local, state and Federal government activities.
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, REIS data files.

Last updated: Saturday, May 26, 2012

For more information contact: David McGranahan