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The Rural Sector

Publication Date
  • Employment
  • Rural
  • Farm
  • Urban
  • Labor
  • Economic
  • Worker
  • Cps
  • Wage
  • Agriculture
  • Economics


The Rural Sector Cornell University ILR School DigitalCommons@ILR Briggs Volume II Briggs Papers and Speeches 9-5-1978 The Rural Sector Vernon M. Briggs Jr. Follow this and additional works at: This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Briggs Papers and Speeches at DigitalCommons@ILR. It has been accepted for inclusion in Briggs Volume II by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@ILR. For more information, please contact The Rural Sector Keywords Employment, rural, farm, urban, labor, economic, worker, CPS, wage, Agriculture Comments Volume 2 - Paper #20 This article is available at DigitalCommons@ILR: 9/5/78 V. M. Briggs )~~7}c II~~ en.-. ~ o---J/ (~(j 'AJn.A~ 'S~ -- ''''''-''7I-Kl(r-- I #- b1J The Rural Sector Although the statistical definitions of rural America are varied, they draw similar profiles. The employment and income patterns of rural citizens differ significantly from those of urban America. The distinctions are usually to the detriment of the rural population and it 1abor force. 1 Yet, despite the negative economic depictions, the rural economy is significant in size (accounting in 1970 for about a quarter of the nation's population and one-third of its labor force). The rural population of the nation declined in absolute numbers consistently from 1790 to 1940. Between 1940 and 1970, however, it stabilized in aggregate size at around 54 million persons although it sustained substantial changes in its internal composition. There was a sharp rise in the non-farm sector and an accelerated decline in the farm sector during this interval. Aside from the internal dynamics of the past few decades, there are clear signs in the 1970ls that the rural population is reversing its secular decline. Its relative share of the nation1s total population increase

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