New USDA reports explore rural innovation and manufacturing

Innovation in the Rural Nonfarm Economy: Its Effect on Job and Earnings Growth, 2010-2014 was written by ERS Regional Economist Tim Wojan and ERS Sociologist Timothy Parker. Wojan also is a member of the NERCRD Board of Directors. Using data from the 2014 Rural Establishment Innovation Survey, Wojan and Parker found that innovation was widespread in rural areas, particularly in manufacturing. The authors also explored how quickly more innovative industries or regions recovered from recession.

In the 2017 edition of Rural Manufacturing at a Glance, and a related report, Rural Manufacturing Resilience: Factors Associated With Plant Survival, 1996-2011, ERS Economist Sarah Low reports on the importance of manufacturing to the rural economy. For example, despite an overall decline in manufacturing jobs, these jobs represented 14 percent of rural private nonfarm jobs in 2015, and earnings from these jobs accounted for 21 percent of rural private non-farm earnings.

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