USDA Issues Report on Investments to Grow the Rural Economy
FY 2016 Rural Development Progress Report Released
WASHINGTON–Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the final year-end report of the Obama administration's results creating jobs and investing in rural communities nationwide.
"USDA Rural Development has measurably improved the lives and livelihoods for millions of rural Americans – and their future looks much brighter today than when President Obama took office," Vilsack said. "The results highlighted in this report demonstrate how long-term government investment and effective partnerships with public and private institutions are central to rural America's continued progress."
USDA Rural Development's 2016 Progress Report provides an overview of activities in 2016 that resulted in record investments in rural America. Vilsack notes in the report that key economic indicators continue to show that rural America is rebounding.
Rural unemployment dropped below 6 percent in 2015 for the first time since 2007, and rural poverty rates have fallen, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median household incomes in rural areas increased by 3.4 percent in 2015, and rural populations have stabilized and in some areas are beginning to grow.
The report includes success stories from every state illustrating the many ways USDA helps create jobs, make infrastructure improvements and boost economic development. It also highlights the success of some of the Obama administration's and Vilsack's place-based initiatives, such as Promise Zones and StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity. These efforts help reduce poverty, and support investments in education, community services and capacity building to jump-start and sustain economic development.