ERIC Number: ED191635
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The Service Sector and Rural America: Issues for Public Policy and Topics for Research.
Menchik, Mark David
An examination of trends in the service industries, as determined by U.S. Bureau of the Census figures (1970-77), reveals it to be the fastest growing sector in the economy, both nationally and rurally. Employment in this sector increased 24% nationally and accounted for 74% of the net gain in nonmetropolitan employment; growth was at least 65% faster than the goods sector in rural areas. Because of the heterogeneous nature of the service sector, some economists believe that it is parasitic, but this is not apparent when looking at its role in the rural economy and quality of life. Its services are not seen as taking activity away from other areas, and because it is labor-intensive, making few demands on public resources, it can meet public ecological goals. It can smooth area employment fluctuations by absorbing unemployment from other areas and providing opportunities for local residents and in-migrants. Assuming a continuation in decentralization and an improvement in technology, the demand for services should increase, and if transportation costs continue to rise (while those for communication and information decrease), there should follow smaller, less specialized, and more "clustered" services, making citified services more accessible to rural residents. Growth in this sector can integrate local economies, and can be guided by government control and policies. (JD)
Descriptors: Economic Change, Employment Patterns, Industrial Structure, Information Services, Professional Services, Public Policy, Research Needs, Rural Areas, Rural Economics, Service Occupations, Technology, Trend Analysis, Urban to Rural Migration
Publications Dept., The Rand Corporation, 1700 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90406 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.