Industrial Restructuring and the Growth of Low Wage Work in the Rural U.S.

View this Publication

Report examines the contribution of industrial change to the growth of low wage work in the rural United States.

Research points to evidence that not only did the percentage of low earners increase in the rural U.S. overall, but also among all rural labor force groups based on race, sex, age, and education within each of nine Census regions. Research points to industrial restructuring as a primary contributor to such trends. Report’s major findings are that the growth in the share of low earners in rural areas cut across all major industry sectors and is largely attributable to changes which have occurred within industries, rather than to employment shifts between industries.

Report estimates that economic turmoil trends do not show signs of a reversal in the short term, concluding that global overproduction of oil and other natural resources commodities such as copper is not likely to abate in the near future, which will continue to depress domestic production in these industries.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group
Latest From Aspen CSG
outdoor rec report page cover
Mapping a New Terrain: Call to Action

As new rural outdoor recreation economies take root, we can meet this moment by improving how we do outdoor recreation development to better support rural families, businesses, and workers, create more sustainable and equitable economic systems, and improve local health and wellbeing.

Wealth Creation in Rural and Indigenous Places

Sep. 19th, 2023, 2PM

Learn how rural practitioners are advancing equitable prosperity and economic development in a way that embraces and strengthens the unique assets of rural regions.

WealthWorks: A Powerful Tool for Thriving Rural Places

WealthWorks is an approach to doing economic development differently that inspired and continues to inform the Thrive Rural Framework. Learn more about the WealthWorks approach.

Broadband technician working
Broadband Resources

A collection of broadband resources for funding, advocacy, and community program opportunities for rural community leaders.

collaborating partners
How To Organize a Rural Action Infrastructure

Discussion with rural leaders on the opportunity equitable outdoor recreation economies pose to rural areas.

Queer youth in celebratory gathering
Rural and Native Celebrations of the LGBTQ+ Community

A collection of rural, queer organizations and stories about rural communities and Native nations celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. Explore these moments to learn more about how queer people are celebrated in rural spaces. 

Brookings logo
Rural Policy Resources

A collection of resources provided by the Brookings Institution emerging from their rural research.