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  • Rural Employment Trends in Recession and Recovery

    ERR-172, August 25, 2014

    National nonfarm employment fell by 6.3 percent from its peak in January 2008 to its nadir in February 2010. Nonmetro employment recovered just 0.2 percent from the fourth quarter 2010 to 2013, versus 3.6 percent in metro areas.

  • Natural Gas Extraction and Local Economies—No Evidence of a “Natural Resource Curse”

    Amber Waves, August 04, 2014

    In the 2000s, natural gas production from shale formations increased tenfold in the United States, and growth in production has continued through 2013. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing cite environmental concerns such as groundwater contamination and air pollution. Proponents often highlight the benefit of natural gas extraction to local and state economies.

  • Poverty and Deep Poverty Increasing in Rural America

    Amber Waves, March 04, 2014

    Examining poverty over time shows that the recent economic recession has resulted in the highest rural poverty rates since the mid-1980s, another period when an economic recession and slow rural recovery resulted in rising rural poverty rates. The 2007-2009 recession and subsequent slow recovery have resulted in substantial increases in poverty, especially among children.

  • Onshore Oil and Gas Development in the Lower 48 States: Introducing a County-Level Database of Production for 2000-2011

    Amber Waves, February 03, 2014

    Until now, there has been no publicly available nationwide data on oil and gas production at the county level. County-level data from oil and/or natural gas producing States were compiled on a State-by-State basis. Most States have production statistics available by field, county, or well, and these data were compiled at the county level to create a database of county-level production, 2000-11.

  • Energy Development’s Impacts on Rural Employment Growth

    Amber Waves, December 16, 2013

    Energy Development’s Impacts on Rural Employment Growth.

  • Emerging Energy Industries and Rural Growth

    ERR-159, November 21, 2013

    Production of wind power, corn-based ethanol, and unconventionally extracted natural gas more than doubled overall from 2000 to 2010. ERS looks at the contribution these emerging-energy industries have made to local economies.

  • Rural Veterans at a Glance

    EB-25, November 07, 2013

    Veterans possess education and skill levels that position them to contribute economically to rural communities. ERS presents a social and demographic profile of veterans residing in rural areas.

  • Rural America at a Glance, 2013 Edition

    EB-24, November 07, 2013

    Since 2011, net job growth in nonmetro areas has been near zero while metro employment has grown 1.4 percent annually. Meanwhile, the first recorded period of nonmetro population loss occurred between 2010 and 2012.

  • Selected charts from Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials

    AP-062, September 16, 2013

    This collection of nine charts and maps presents essential information on the farm sector, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, and the interaction of agriculture and natural resources.

  • Effects of Large-Scale Hog Production on Local Labor Markets

    Amber Waves, August 05, 2013

    For counties with large-scale hog operations, the average change in the number of hogs at these operations over each 5-year-period between 1992 and 2007 was 8,473. Each additional 1,000 hogs at large-scale hog facilities in a county generated 0.96 net jobs in the county, with gains in some sectors and losses in others.

  • 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.

  • Rural Broadband At A Glance, 2013 Edition

    EB-23, June 20, 2013

    Rural household Internet and broadband subscription rates generally fall below urban rates, but rural areas gained broadband subscribers faster in 2009-10.

  • Nonmetro Areas as a Whole Experience First Period of Population Loss

    Amber Waves, May 06, 2013

    U.S. nonmetro counties as a whole have gained population every year for which county population estimates are available--until recently. Between April 2010 and July 2012, nonmetro counties declined in total population by 44,000, a -0.09-percent drop according to the most recent annual county population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • 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.

  • Effects of U.S. Wind Power Development on County-Level Income and Employment

    Amber Waves, February 21, 2013

    ERS, in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, recently completed a study of the effects of wind power development on county-level income and employment in 12 States of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions. Findings reveal an aggregate increase in county-level personal income and employment of approximately $11,000 and 0.5 jobs per megawatt of wind power capacity installed over the study period 2000 to 2008.

  • The Potential Impact of Tax Reform on Farm Businesses and Rural Households

    EIB-107, February 04, 2013

    Key elements of proposed tax reform, reducing accelerated deductions for capital purchases and raising capital gains tax rates, could increase tax liabilities for many farmers. Other elements could reduce tax liabilities.

  • 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 Concentration of Poverty Is a Growing Rural Problem

    Amber Waves, December 05, 2012

    Concentrated poverty has increased in the U.S. over the last decade, particularly in nonmetropolitan areas and in areas with distinct racial/ethnic minority populations. Deteriorating economic conditions, namely rising unemployment, have driven the increase in nonmetro concentrated poverty.

  • In the Long Run: Population Trends in Nonmetro America Vary Considerably by Age and County Type

    Amber Waves, December 03, 2012

    For many decades, most U.S. nonmetro counties experienced significant population loss among young adults, especially in the years immediately following high school graduation.

  • Return Migrants Overcome Employment Barriers in Small Towns

    Amber Waves, December 03, 2012

    Efforts to attract and assist return migrants can reap benefits for rural communities, especially in geographically isolated areas that otherwise tend to attract few new migrants. However, for returnees to overcome employment challenges in these communities often requires a combination of sacrifice, risk taking, creativity, and patience.