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Abstract

Adult rural Southerners have made remarkable progress in improving their educational status over the past decade, but quality jobs requiring collegeeducated workers remain more a dream than a reality in the rural South. The most rapidly growing segments of the rural Southern economy are paying wages and salaries that are well below those paid to metro-based Southerners. Consequently, the gap in average earnings has widened between Southern metro and nonmetro workers during the 1990's. Projected job expansion over 1996-2005 offers little hope for improvement since the majority of such jobs will demand persons with no more than a terminal high school education and some on-the-job training.

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