Over the last decade poor young adults in rural areas have not been finding enough work to support themselves. Federal social programs are an important buffer: food stamps, Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Head Start, and job training programs are critical to their survival.
We know that changes in the structure of the economy have had powerful negative effects on young people in the inner cities. The same is true in remote rural areas. The poverty rate for young people in rural areas has more than doubled over the last decade, from 17 percent in 1978 to 36 percent in 1987. Jobs for those with limited skills and education are no longer available. Young people who do not have the resources to adjust to the new labor market become trapped in declining communities....
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