Publications

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  • Issues in Agricultural and Rural Finance

    AIB-724, August 21, 1998

    The Food and Rural Economics Division of ERS designed the following series of policy-oriented, timely publications to provide background and analysis for decisionmakers and others. The Federal Government is heavily involved in both public and private finance in the rural and agricultural sectors. Such involvement takes the form of lending and loan guarantees from Federal agencies, chartering special purpose lenders, providing regulation and supervision, and financing rural development and poverty programs. This series of reports focuses on current and emerging issues in agricultural and rural finance. Each report is short, nontechnical, and policy oriented, providing decisionmakers and others with timely analyses of policy proposals and emerging issues and trends.

  • Rural Governments Face Public Transportation Challenges and Opportunities

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2004

    Public transportation serves about 60 percent of all rural counties, including 28 percent with limited service. For low-income rural residents, long commutes and lack of transportation are barriers to working. To address this issue in rural areas, the Federal Government is providing public transportation through the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program; a recent ERS study found that JARC services were successfully implemented in rural areas.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2004

    AIB-793, September 30, 2004

    Rural America At A Glance, 2004 is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The brochure is the third in a series of reports that uses current social and economic data to highlight population, labor market, income, and poverty trends in rural areas. This brochure provides information on key rural conditions and trends for use by public and private decisionmakers and others in efforts to enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for rural people and their communities.

  • Recreation, Tourism, and Rural Well-Being

    ERR-7, August 09, 2005

    Recreation and tourism development generally increases local employment, wage levels, and income in rural areas. Drawbacks include higher housing costs. Local effects vary significantly, depending on the type of recreation area.

  • Low-Skill Employment and the Changing Economy of Rural America

    ERR-10, October 31, 2005

    This study reports trends in rural low-skill employment in the 1990s and their impact on the rural workforce. The share of rural jobs classified as low-skill fell by 2.2 percentage points between 1990 and 2000, twice the decline of the urban low-skill employment share, but much less than the decline of the 1980s. Employment shifts from low-skill to skilled occupations within industries, rather than changes in industry mix, explain virtually all of the decline in the rural low-skill employment share. The share decline was particularly large for rural Black women, many of whom moved out of low-skill blue-collar work into service occupations, while the share of rural Hispanics who held low-skill jobs increased.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2006 Edition

    EIB-18, August 29, 2006

    Rural America At A Glance, 2006 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The brochure provides information on key rural conditions and trends for use by public and private decisionmakers and others in efforts to enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for rural people and their communities.

  • Rural Employment At A Glance

    EIB-21, December 29, 2006

    Rural Employment At A Glance is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of employment and unemployment in rural areas. It documents changes and differences in metro and nonmetro employment growth, unemployment, earnings per job, and occupational mix, as well as differences across nonmetro areas by location and county type.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2007 Edition

    EIB-31, October 01, 2007

    Rural America At A Glance, 2007 highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The brochure provides information on key rural conditions and trends for use by public and private decisionmakers and others involved in efforts to enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for rural people and their communities.

  • Rural Broadband At A Glance, 2009 Edition

    EIB-47, February 27, 2009

    Six-page brochure presents information and data on broadband availability and use, and the relationship of broadband to rural businesses and to key services for rural residents.

  • Broadband Internet Service Helping Create a Rural Digital Economy

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2009

    Investment in rural broadband Internet access seems to lead to a more competitive rural economy and rural economic growth, helping create a rural digital economy. A comparison of the economic growth of counties with broadband access in 2000 with that of otherwise similar counties without broadband shows that broadband availability helped spur the formation of new businesses and increased the growth of existing firms.

  • Rural America at a Glance, 2010 Edition

    EIB-68, September 13, 2010

    Rural America At A Glance, 2010 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The 2010 edition focuses on the U.S. rural economy, including employment trends, poverty, and demographics.

  • Nonmetropolitan Outmigration Counties: Some Are Poor, Many Are Prosperous

    ERR-107, November 12, 2010

    Over a third of U.S. nonmetropolitan counties lost at least 10 percent of their population through net outmigration during the past two decades. ERS compares characteristics of such counties with other nonmetro counties.

  • Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies

    ERR-123, August 18, 2011

    ERS looks at direct and indirect impacts of higher energy prices on the agricultural and rural sectors, with scenarios developed for specific energy price changes.

  • Farm Activities Associated With Rural Development Initiatives

    ERR-134, May 16, 2012

    A number of rural development initiatives have targeted farm-related activities (e.g., agritourism, energy production). ERS examines the characteristics of farms and farm households involved in such activities.

  • Creating Rural Wealth: A New Lens for Rural Development Efforts

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    Rural development efforts that create and maintain a broad portfolio of wealth may be central to sustainable rural prosperity.

  • Multi-Enterprising Farm Households: The Importance of Their Alternative Business Ventures in the Rural Economy

    EIB-101, October 31, 2012

    Nearly a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production, creating $26.7 billion in household income in 2007, from both on- and off-farm enterprises.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2012 Edition

    EB-21, December 13, 2012

    This update in the annual series focuses on U.S. recovery from the 2007-09 recession, with recovery slower in nonmetro than in metro areas. As of July 2012, nonmetro employment, e.g., remained more than 3 percent below its 2007 peak.

  • The Importance of Farmer-Owned Nonfarm Businesses in the Rural Economy

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2013

    Farm households that also operate nonfarm businesses have accounted for about 18 percent of U.S. farm households since the 1990s. In 2007, farmer-owned nonfarm businesses employed over 800,000 nonfarm workers and contributed an estimated $55 billion to their local communities’ gross county product.

  • Rural Internet at a Crossroads

    Amber Waves, July 01, 2013

    Ninety-five percent of all U.S. households have access to broadband Internet service. The 5 percent of households that do not have access largely reside in rural areas. About 30 percent of rural households with access still do not have broadband meeting current technology standards, although some of these households have broadband available at slower speeds.

  • When Working Off the Farm, Farm Operators Most Commonly Work in Management and Professional Occupations

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2013

    Most U.S. farm households earn income from nonfarm sources, and in 2011, roughly 56 percent of their nonfarm income came from off-farm jobs, on average. When working off-farm, 36 percent of farm operators and their spouses reported working in management and professional occupations.