Centre for Rural Economy


Study on Employment, Growth and Innovation in Rural Areas

This project, led by ECORYS Netherlands BV, aimed to thoroughly assess recent employment and growth trends in rural areas across the European Union to give the European Commission a better understanding of what constitutes and drives rural employment growth and how EU policy can best support future rural development. More specifically, the project assessed the evolution and patterns of development of employment and growth in rural areas, with a particular focus on young people and women and agriculture and the agri-food industry. It assessed the role played by rural development policy, the factors that create demand for rural development funding and reviewed the issues on which future rural development policy actions could focus according to identified employment, economic growth and innovation needs.

There were four main elements within the project:

Trend analysis (review of employment and growth in rural areas

Cluster analysis – identify clusters based on socio-economic indicators

Factor analysis – identify key conditions for economic growth and classify the major drivers of employment and socio-economic development in rural areas

Good practice – identify and document a range of good practice initiatives that have stimulated employment, growth and innovation in rural areas.