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USDA: NUMBER OF FARM WORKERS INCREASING
Source: USDA news release

There were 703,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on the Nation's farms and ranches during the week of April 10-16, 2016, up 2 percent from the April 2015 reference week. Workers hired directly by farm operators numbered 582,000 during the week of January 10-16, 2016, up 6 percent from the January 2015 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $12.75 per hour during the April 2016 reference week, up 4 percent from the April 2015 reference week. Field workers received an average of $12.00 per hour, an increase of 6 percent. Livestock workers earned $12.01 per hour, up 4 percent.

The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $12.00 per hour, was up 5 percent from the 2015 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 40.4 hours during the April 2016 reference week, compared with 39.9 hours worked during the April 2015 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $12.83 per hour during the January 2016 reference week, up 2 percent from the January 2015 reference week. Field workers received an average of $11.84 per hour, up 4 percent, while livestock workers earned $12.02 per hour, up 3 percent from a year earlier.

The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $11.91 per hour, was up 3 percent from the January 2015 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 38.8 hours during the January 2016 reference week, compared with 39.2 hours worked during the January 2015 reference week.

April Reference Week
For the April 2016 reference week, the largest percentage increases in the number of hired workers from the 2015 reference week occurred in the Cornbelt I (Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio), Lake (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin), and Pacific (Oregon and Washington) regions. The Cornbelt I region saw the largest increase, with 31 percent more workers on the region's farms.

The largest percentage decreases in the number of hired workers from the 2015 reference week occurred in the Appalachian I (North Carolina and Virginia), Appalachian II (Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia), and Cornbelt II (Iowa and Missouri) regions. Appalachian II saw the biggest decline, with workers down 23 percent from the 2015 reference week.

The largest percentage increases in average wage rates for all hired workers occurred in the Florida, Cornbelt II (Iowa and Missouri) and Mountain III (Arizona and New Mexico) regions.

January Reference Week
For the January 2016 reference week, the largest percentage increases in the number of hired workers from the 2015 reference week occurred in the Cornbelt I (Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio), Lake (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin), and Northeast II (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) regions. The Cornbelt I region saw the largest increase, with 35 percent more workers on the region's farms.

The largest percentage decreases in the number of hired workers from the 2015 reference week occurred in the Appalachian I (North Carolina and Virginia), Appalachian II (Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia), and Cornbelt II(Iowa and Missouri) regions. Appalachian II saw the biggest decline, with workers down 25 percent from the 2015 reference week.

The largest percentage increases in average wage rates for all hired workers occurred in the California and Mountain III (Arizona and New Mexico) regions.


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