Earn It Goal 8
Workers hold jobs that pay wages and offer benefits that support a stable family life.

Common Sense
  • Many full-time workers earn wages too low to meet their families’ basic needs.
  • In rural areas, many local jobs are either seasonal or part-time.
  • Most of the fastest growing industries in rural areas—for example, tourism and hospitality or services – pay only the minimum wage.
  • Benefits—especially health insurance and leave policies—contribute to family stability and flexibility by lowering the time, stress and dollar costs of family care, and making them more manageable and predictable.
  • Fewer jobs in rural areas offer benefits – due to the preponderance of smaller businesses, seasonal and part-time jobs, and self-employment.
  • Workers without health insurance are often one family health crisis away from job loss and/or bankruptcy.

Fast Facts

Check out related Action Ideas and Alerts below! Or view other Earn It goals here.

The Business Case for Helping Rural Families Get Ahead

PBS Special on Working Bridges

Doing business in smaller communities requires finding good employees from a smaller pool of workers. Retaining those good employees can be the difference between profits and loss, or between staying put and relocating.  So why, many rural employers wonder, do their businesses experience such high turnover in the ranks of their low-to-moderate wage workforce? Isn’t […]

How much does it cost for a business to replace an employee?

The Center for American Progress conducted a review of 30 academic studies that approximated the cost of replacing a worker who left the job due to firing or quitting. Their review concluded that the cost of replacing a worker averages around 10% to 30% of the worker’s annual salary. In other words, not having to […]

Combining Tax Prep and Affordable Health Insurance

A Wealthier and Healthier Tax Time The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) launch in October brought big changes to the coming tax-filing season.  This year only, health insurance enrollment under ACA will overlap with tax season.  While penalties will apply in future tax seasons, this year, families can enroll in health insurance and get the coverage […]

Now Enter the Marketplace!

Ensuring Rural Family Health Insurance — As anyone with an ear on the news knows, the new health insurance marketplaces launched October 1. These state-based online health insurance marketplaces, a key feature of the 2010 Affordable Care Act [ACA], offer a singular opportunity for RuFES network members: You can now apply your place-based, RuFES-honed wisdom […]

RuFES is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group.
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