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FARM LABOR

February 26, 1997

USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service   |  1222 Woodward Street   |  Orlando, Florida 32803   |  407 / 648-6013


FLORIDA: Hired workers on Florida farms during the week of January 12 through 18 totaled 82,800. This paid worker total included 67,000 workers hired by farmers, which is 20,000 or 43 percent above the 47,000 workers that farmers hired last year, and 22,000 or 49 percent above the number that farmers paid in October 1996. Agricultural services hired 15,800 workers, up 1,000 workers or seven percent from the January 1996 number of 14,800 paid workers, and 8,900 above the October 1996 number of 6,900 workers hired. A larger amount of citrus and vegetables were harvested during the survey week compared to the same week a year ago.

    The January 1997 all hired worker wage rate average $7.49 per hour, 14 cents above the $7.35 per hour paid last October, but 13 cents below the January 1996 wage of $7.62. Farmers paid an average of $7.35 per hour, equal to the wage paid last quarter, but eight cents below the $7.43 paid last year. Agricultural services paid workers an average of $8.05 per hour compared with $7.30 paid last quarter and $8.35 paid last year.


Table 1 -- Florida hired farm workers including agricultural
service workers, January 12 through 18, 1997, with comparisons
Year and
survey
week
All
farm
workers
Non-salaried Hired by farm operators Hired by Agricultural Services
Self
employed 1/
Unpaid Number of
workers
Expected to work Number of
workers2/
Expected to work
150 days
or more
149 days
or less
150 days
or more
149 days
or less
1997 Thousands
    January 12 -18 * * * 67 .0 58 .0 9 .0 15 .8 10 .0 5 .8
1996
    October 6 - 12 * * * 45 .0 40 .0 5 .0 6 .9 6 .0 0 .9
    July 7 - 13 * * * 43 .0 38 .0 5 .0 3 .4 3 .0 0 .4
    April 7 - 13 92 .5 25 .5 7 .0 50 .0 43 .0 7 .0 10 .0 6 .5 3 .5
    January 7 - 13 92 .0 24 .2 6 .0 47 .0 40 .0 7 .0 14 .8 7 .5 7 .3
1995
    October 8 - 14 96 .5 25 .1 6 .0 60 .0 53 .0 7 .0 5 .4 4 .9 0 .5
    July 9 - 15 81 .0 24 .1 7 .0 48 .0 44 .0 4 .0 1 .9 1 .5 0 .4
    April 9 - 15 82 .0 19 .2 3 .0 50 .0 43 .0 7 .0 9 .8 7 .0 2 .8
    January 8 - 14 90 .0 19 .2 3 .0 55 .0 45 .0 10 .0 12 .8 8 .0 4 .8


Table 2 -- Florida wage rates by selected type of worker and method of pay,
including agricultural service workers, January 12 through 18, 1997, with comparisons
3/
Year and
survey week
All
hired
Type of worker Method of pay
Field Livestock 4/ Supervisor Piece rate Per hour only
1997 Dollars per hour
    January 12-18 7 .49 6 .95 6 .80 13 .28 ** **
1996
    October 6 - 12 7 .35 6 .35 6 .65 12 .37 ** **
    July 7 - 13 7 .52 6 .44 7 .10 13 .19 ** **
    April 7 - 13 7 .14 6 .29 7 .10 13 .32 7 .03 6 .38
    January 7 - 13 7 .62 6 .74 6 .25 12 .83 7 .76 6 .49
1995
    October 8 - 14 6 .98 6 .04 6 .40 13 .33 6 .97 6 .00
    July 9 - 15 7 .80 6 .78 6 .45 13 .45 8 .00 6 .90
    April 9 - 15 7 .82 7 .04 6 .20 12 .84 7 .61 7 .21
    January 8 - 14 7 .29 6 .51 6 .25 12 .50 6 .66 6 .75
1/ Includes Agricultural Service operators.
2/ Excludes Agricultural Service operators.
3/ Value of any perquisites provided are not included in wage rates.
4/ Excludes Agricultural Service wages.
*Not estimated this quarter.
**Estimates discontinued.


Table 3 -- Number of hired workers, wage rates, and hours worked,
selected States, January 12 through 18, 1997 1/
Item Florida California Texas &
Oklahoma
Arizona &
New Mexico
Hawaii United
States 2/
Thousands
All farm workers * * * * * *
Self-employed workers * * * * * *
Unpaid workers * * * * * *
Hired workers 67 137 47 15 7 635
Expected to work
150 days or more 58 109 38 13 6 537
149 days or less 9 28 9 2 1 98
Dollars per hour 3/
All hired worker wage rate 7.35 7.10 6.11 6.36 10.32 7.19
Wages by type of worker
Field & Livestock 6.80 6.25 5.81 5.84 8.87 6.57
Field 6.80 6.04 5.56 5.82 8.85 6.60
Livestock 6.80 7.50 5.97 5.90 4/ 6.52
Supervisors * * * * * *
Average hours per week
Hours worked by
All hired workers 35.5 34.0 38.5 42.6 35.5 36.5
Self-employed workers * * * * * *
Unpaid workers * * * * * *
1/ Excludes Agricultural Service workers.
2/ United States excludes Alaska.
3/ Value of any perquisites provided are not included in wage rates.
4/ Insufficient data for this category; included in all hired wages
*Not estimated this quarter.


Table 4 -- Number of workers, wage rates, and hours worked,
selected States, January 7 through 13, 1996 1/
Item Florida California Texas &
Oklahoma
Arizona &
New Mexico
Hawaii United
States 2/
Thousands
All farm workers 77 205 315 58 11 2,347
Self-employed workers 24 43 219 16 3 1,401
Unpaid workers 6 10 49 24 1 348
Hired workers 47 152 47 18 7 598
Expected to work
150 days or more 40 123 40 14 6 496
149 days or less 7 29 7 4 1 102
Dollars per hour 3/
All hired worker wage rate 7.43 6.95 6.17 6.43 9.63 6.89
Wages by type of worker
Field & Livestock 6.38 6.35 5.59 5.57 8.34 6.28
Field 6.40 6.25 5.31 5.42 8.34 6.33
Livestock 6.25 7.21 5.89 5.90 4/ 6.20
Supervisors 12.65 11.70 10.27 10.62 15.17 10.42
Wages by method of pay
Hourly 6.45 6.35 5.73 5.81 8.67 6.44
Piece-rate 6.70 7.14 4/ 4/ 4/ 7.14
Other 10.60 10.18 6.69 7.59 13.93 7.72
Average hours per week
Hours worked by
All hired workers 39.0 43.8 41.1 44.3 36.5 39.1
Self-employed workers 24.5 29.7 25.0 33.0 28.6 28.7
Unpaid workers 26.5 28.3 23.6 26.3 31.4 27.7
1/ Excludes Agricultural Service workers.
2/ United States excludes Alaska.
3/ Value of any perquisites provided are not included in wage rates.
4/ Insufficient data for this category; included in all hired wages
*Not estimated this quarter.


    There were 766,000 hired workers on the Nation's farms and ranches during the week of January 12-18, 1997, up 7 percent from a year earlier. There were 635,000 workers hired directly by farm operators. Agricultural service employees on farms and ranches made up the remaining 131,000 workers. Migrant workers accounted for 9.5 percent of the January hired work force compared to 5.7 percent last year. Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $7.19 per hour during the January 1997 survey week, up 30 cents (4.0 percent) from a year earlier. Field workers received an average of $6.60 per hour, up 27 cents. Livestock workers earned $6.52 per hour compared with $6.20 a year earlier. During the survey week of January 12-18, 1997, cold air spread over the Nation in two stages, continuing harsh conditions across the North Central States. Despite a late-week warm-up, weekly temperatures averaged 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit below normal from the Rockies to the Appalachians. Farther west, rain returned to flood-stricken areas of California, but much more significant precipitation fell across the Northwest and Southwest. Widespread ice and snow accumulated from Texas and Louisiana into the Midwest. Rain dampened the East, while in the Great Lakes Region record-setting snow squalls continued.

SURVEY PROCEDURES: These data were collected by the National Agricultural Statistics Service during the last two weeks of January using sampling procedures to ensure every employer of agricultural workers had a chance of being selected. Two samples of farm operators are selected. First, NASS maintains a list of farms that hire farm workers. Farms on this list are classified by size and type. Those expected to employ large numbers of workers are selected with greater frequency than those hiring few or no workers. A second sample consists of segments of land scientifically selected from aerial photography. Each June, highly trained interviewers locate each selected land segment and identify every farm operating land within the sample segment's boundaries. The names of farms found in these area segments are matched against the list of farms; those not found on the list are included in the labor survey sample to represent all farms not on the NASS list. This methodology is known as multiple frame sampling, with an area sample used to measure the incompleteness of the list. Additionally, a list of agricultural service firms was sampled in California and Florida. The survey reference week was January 12-18, 1997. The survey in California was jointly conducted with the California Employment Development Division beginning January 1997.

RELIABILITY: Two types of errors, sampling and nonsampling, are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey. Both types affect the "precision" of the estimates. Sampling error occurs because a complete census is not taken. The sampling error measures the variation in estimates from the average of all possible samples. An estimate of 100 with a sampling error of 1 would mean that chances are 19 out of 20 that the estimates from all possible samples averaged together would be between 98 and 101; which is the survey estimate, plus or minus two times the sampling error. The sampling error expressed as a percent of the estimate is called the relative sampling error. The relative sampling error for number of all hired workers at the U.S. level was 5.5 percent. The relative sampling error for number of hired workers generally ranged between 7 and 22 percent at the regional level. The U.S. all hired farm worker wage rate had a relative sampling error of 2.2 percent. The relative sampling error was 3.0 percent for the combined field and livestock worker wage rate. Relative sampling errors for the all hired farm worker wage rate generally ranged between 2 and 8 percent at the regional levels. Relative sampling errors for wage rates published by type of farm and economic class of farm ranged between 2 and 10 percent at the regional level. Nonsampling errors can occur in complete censuses as well as in sample surveys. They are caused by the inability to obtain correct information from each operation sampled, differences in interpreting questions or definitions, and mistakes in coding or processing the data. Special efforts are taken in each step of the survey to minimize nonsampling errors.


Table 5 -- Number of hired workers, wage rates, and hours worked,
selected States, October 6 through 12, 1996 1/
Item Florida California Texas &
Oklahoma
Arizona &
New Mexico
Hawaii United
States 2/
Thousands
All farm workers * * * * * *
Self-employed workers * * * * * *
Unpaid workers * * * * * *
Hired workers 45 206 63 19 8 935
Expected to work
150 days or more 40 138 42 17 7 625
149 days or less 5 68 21 2 1 310
Dollars per hour 3/
All hired worker wage rate 7.35 7.22 5.85 6.53 9.75 4/ 6.97
Wages by type of worker
Field & Livestock 6.35 6.74 5.56 6.11 8.65 6.58
Field 6.31 6.67 5.38 5.94 8.60 6.58
Livestock 6.65 7.25 6.00 6.37 5/ 6.57
Supervisors * * * * * *
Average hours per week
Hours worked by
All hired workers 37.0 40.9 41.2 45.1 39.7 40.6
Self-employed workers * * * * * *
Unpaid workers * * * * * *
1/ Excludes Agricultural Service workers.
2/ United States excludes Alaska.
3/ Value of any perquisites provided are not included in wage rates.
4/ Revised.
5/ Insufficient data for this category; included in all hired wages.
* Not estimated this quarter.


Agricultural Services

    Crew leaders and custom crews provided 131,000 workers for the Nation's farms and ranches during the week of January 12-18, 1997. Service workers in California numbered 50,000 compared with 51,000 during the January 1996 survey week. Florida's number of service workers was 15,800, compared to 15,000 last year.

    The average wages received by agricultural service workers in California and Florida were $7.10 and $8.05 per hour, respectively. Comparable wages in January 1996 were $6.39 in California and $8.35 in Florida.


Table 6-Agricultural Services: Number of workers, average wage rates, and
average hours worked, California and Florida, January 12 through 18, 1997, with comparisons 1/
Year and
survey week
Florida California
Number of
workers
Average
wage 2/
Average
hours worked
Number of
workers
Average
wage 2/
Average
hours worked
Dollars
per hour
Per week Dollars
per hour
Per week
1997
    January 12-18 15,800 8.05 37.0 50,000 7.10 37.6
1996
    October 6 - 12 7,000 7.30 3/ 24.0 3/ 88,000 6.63 36.3
    July 7 - 13 3,500 * 43.5 98,000 7.17 40.0
    April 7 - 13 10,500 7.68 31.5 63,000 6.58 38.2
    January 7 - 13 15,000 8.35 33.0 51,000 6.39 39.1
1995
    October 8 - 14 5,500 7.05 31.0 98,000 6.93 33.0
    July 9 - 15 2,000 7.76 48.0 93,000 6.42 41.4
    April 9 - 15 10,000 7.58 35.0 91,000 6.39 31.9
    January 8 - 14 13,000 6.81 37.0 54,000 6.70 31.5
1994
    October 9 - 15 7,500 7.50 30.0 91,000 6.40 39.3
    July 10 - 16 4,200 6.83 48.0 87,000 5.99 38.6
    April 10 - 16 25,200 8.22 33.0 75,000 6.32 40.2
1/ Data in this table are for Agricultural Services performed on the farm by custom service units such as crew leaders or custom crews.
2/ Value of any perquisites provided are not included in wage rates.
3/ Revised.
*Insufficient data.