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Issues in Rural Manufacturing

Results of the ERS Rural Manufacturing Survey

Issues in Rural Manufacturing: Results of the ERS Rural Manufacturing Survey. Contacts: David A. McGranahan and H. Frederick Gale. Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 736.

About the Survey

The ERS Rural Manufacturing Survey is a nationwide study of local factors affecting the ability of manufacturers to compete in today's increasingly international economy. Telephone interviews were conducted with 2,844 rural and 1,065 urban establishments with 10 or more employees. Questions focused on technology adoption, worker skills and training, access to outside expertise, sources of capital for expansion and modernization, and government program participation. The survey is unique in the breadth of its concerns, its focus on local relations, and the size of its rural sample.

The survey was designed by ERS with input from representatives of industry and the academic research community. The Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at Washington State University conducted the actual survey. The overall response rate for the survey was 69 percent.

About the Series

The survey results are being published in a series of eight-page issue briefs, written under the premise that awareness and understanding of the problems facing manufacturers will improve both public and private decisionmaking. While the reports may be read separately, each builds on the others so that the entire series should provide a comprehensive view of rural manufacturers and their problems and concerns.

Keywords: ERS Rural Manufacturing Survey, rural/urban businesses, manufacturing technology, rural/urban jobs

This publication is in Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 PDF format. You can download and get help using the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print this document. This format is used to preserve all of the content and layout used in our hardcopy publication.

NOTE: Since this series was published, author phone numbers may have become outdated. Please disregard the authors' phone numbers and contact them via e-mail. If there is no listing, that author is no longer with ERS; however, you can locate an information specialist to help you.


  1. Is There A Rural-Urban Technology Gap? by H. Frederick Gale, August 1997; 121 kb
  2. Rural and Urban Manufacturing Workers: Similar Problems, Similar Challenges by Ruy Teixeira, January 1998; 99 kb
  3. Local Problems Facing Manufacturers by David McGranahan, April 1998; 100 kb
  4. Who Benefits From Business Assistance Programs? by Elizabeth Greenberg and Rick Reeder, September 1998; 76 kb

Other ERS research articles that use data from the Rural Manufacturing Survey

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Updated: October 19, 1998

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