Bypassing America's Outlands: Rural America and High Technology

Rural areas gained high tech jobs and plants over most of the period studied. This growth is, however, intimately tied to the historic economic base of rural communities, including primarily mature production manufacturing. Mature high tech industries, like their traditional counterparts, are relatively slow-growing and subject to future changes in a world-wide market system. Rural gains in high tech industry are also related to overall trends of industrial. decentralization. These larger trends have recently abated and thus the future of high tech growth in rural areas is in question. Rural communities making the most significant gains in high tech jobs are those adjacent to metropolitan areas. Those with the largest absolute numbers of high tech jobs are located near metropolitan areas in the Northeast and Midwest. In contrast, those experiencing the largest job gains over the study period are near cities in the South and West--another sign that rural high tech is tied to larger shifts of population and jobs among America's regions. States are active in recruitment and retention of high tech jobs and yet emphasis is rarely given to the unique problems of rural economies. Unless policy can be redirected toward enhancing existing industry competitiveness, it is doubtful rural communities will share in economic benefits of future high tech growth.

Issue Date:
Jun 01 1988
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-10-06, last modified 2018-03-13

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