Multivariate Analysis of Factors Associated with Earnings Inadequacy in the Rural U.S.: 1979-1987

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Paper examines income variations among rural families through examining the ratio of a worker’s annual earnings compared to the poverty level for a family of four.

Findings show that sex, race, education, industry, and to a lesser extent region are each important factors in understanding rural earnings trends over the past decade. Policy implications include: (1) Importance of high quality education; (2) the value of work experience/apprenticeship programs; (3) the need for stronger affirmative action laws; (4) the need to improve the wages in expanding services industries; (5) the need to improve the wages in expanding service industries such as retail; (6) the desirability of programs to assist displaced workers to locate and train for replacement jobs which offer better wages; (7) the need to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group