Labor Markets in the Rural South: A Study Based on Four Rural Southern Counties




Adams, John F.
Briggs, Vernon M., Jr.
Rungeling, Brian
Smith, Lewis H.
Steptoe, Roosevelt
Garcha, Bikramjit
McDonald, Maurice E.

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Georgia State Univ., Atlanta. Center for Insurance Research


Focusing on the factors inhibiting the labor market's adjustment to economic change, the study examined the economic and social problems facing southern rural areas and populations, including Chicanos and migrants. Factors were in the areas of the labor market behavior, income and earnings, poverty, welfare system and welfare reform, manpower development and training, economic development, and the community's social and political environments. Data were derived from: an extensive survey of households which obtained economic, social, demographic, and behavioral information; and a survey of county institutions which obtained specific information concerning business activities and the community's economic and social structure and organization. Surveys were conducted in Dodge County, Georgia; Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana; Starr County, Texas; and Sunflower County, Mississippi. Major conclusions were: a substantial portion of the rural southern population was unable to obtain adequate income through work; rural workers were hampered in their income generating efforts by low educational levels, lack of training and of work experience, and health problems; employment discrimination by race and sex was pervasive and one cause of low incomes; and transfer programs had not eliminated poverty and welfare reform would have had significant beneficial impacts on many low income families and the overall economy of the rural South.


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