The Economic Research Service (ERS) shapes its research program and products to assist those who routinely make or influence public policy and program decisions. Public policymakers and private industry leaders alike depend on ERS expertise and objectivity to inform and enhance their decision making.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service produced key research in 2017 on topics ranging from socioeconomic trends in rural America to the economic effects of food labels, enhancing the public’s understanding of agriculture and food issues that affect Americans’ daily lives.
Millennials devote more of their food budget to categories dominated by ready-to-eat foods, spend less money on food at home, and make fewer trips to the grocery store than other generations.
From 2001 to 2015, inpatient healthcare facilities experienced modest employment gains in rural counties despite the effects of the Great Recession. However, rural healthcare jobs do not have strong spillover effects on jobs in other sectors.
The 2014-15 U.S. outbreak of Highly-Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) resulted in the loss of more than 50 million birds. The market impacts reflect not only lower production, but also the loss of overseas markets for broiler meat.
99% of U.S. farms are family farms, accounting for 90% of production. Small family farms make up 90% of all farms and operate over half of farmland. Still, large family farms accounted for the largest share of farm production, 45%, in 2016.
Last updated: Friday, January 19, 2018
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