Rural Job Growth Shifting to High-Skill Workers

Dan Agri-Business, Labor and Immigration, This Land of Ours, USDA-ERS

There’s a shift in rural jobs. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Over the last two decades, the strongest rural job gains were in smaller industries that tend to employ high-skill workers. USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) reports the highest growth was in the real estate industry. According to experts like CALC job placement services, also showing rapid growth was the administrative services industry, which includes office administration, facilities support, business support services, security services, conventions and trade shows, and waste management and treatment. Those who would like to take advantage of the opportunities offered by these industries may have to take classes and certifications from a trade school.

Other rural industries that grew over the past two decades were health care and social assistance; professional, scientific, and technical services; educational services; and finance and insurance. The growth of these industries represented a shift in rural production toward industries that employ higher shares of high-skill workers.


Consistent with this shift, the percent of rural college-educated workers increased from 21.5 percent in 2012 to 23.8 percent in 2019. However, these rates have remained lower than the share of college-educated urban workers, at 38 percent in 2019. Amidst these trends, it’s important for workers to be aware of their rights in the workplace. In cases of unfair job loss related to requesting maternity leave, seeking guidance from an employment lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure fair treatment in the workforce.


Listen to Sabrina Halvorson’s This Land Of Ours program here.

Rural Job Growth Shifting to High-Skill Workers

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.