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FARM LABOR
November 24, 1998

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


FLORIDA

    The number of workers paid by farmers and agricul tural services totaled 52,900 for the week of October 11 through 17. Farmers hired 47,000 workers compared with 45,000 in both July 1998 and October 1997. Agricultural services hired 5,900 compared with 5,000 last quarter and 6,000 a year ago. Citrus boxes picked were down 39 percent from a year ago. Vegetable shipments were over three fourths of the amount shipped a year ago.

    The October 1998 all hired worker wage rate aver aged $7.84 per hour, 28 cents or three percent below the $8.12 per hour paid last quarter, but four cents or about one percent higher than the wage paid last year. Farmers paid an average of $7.82 per hour, 26 cents below the $8.08 paid last quarter, but seven cents above the $7.75 paid last year. Agricultural services paid workers an average of $8.07 per hour compared with $8.60 paid last quarter and $8.30 paid last year.

UNITED STATES

    There were 1.25 million hired workers on the Nation's farms and ranches the week of October 11-17, 1998, down 3 percent from a year ago. There were 983 thousand workers hired directly by farm operators. Agricultural service employees on farms and ranches made up the remaining 263,000 workers. Migrant workers accounted for 11.0 percent of the October hired workforce compared to 11.2 percent last year.

    Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $7.60 per hour during the October 1998 survey week, up 29 cents from a year earlier. Field workers received an average of $7.15 per hour, up 21 cents from last October. Livestock workers earned $7.28 per hour compared with $6.80 a year earlier. The Field and Live stock worker combined wage rate was up 26 cents from last year.

    Number of hours worked averaged 42.7 hours for hired workers during the survey week compared with 40.9 hours a year ago.

    The largest increases in number of hired farm workers over last year occurred in California, Mountain III (Arizona and New Mexico), Southeast (Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina), and Mountain I (Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming). In California, grape harvest was very active and harvesting of vegetables, fruit/nuts, and other crops was also active. Increases in the Mountain III region were attributable to late harvesting because of cool, wet weather earlier in the year. Drier weather enabled farmers to make good harvest progress in the Southeast region. Ranchers were busy moving livestock off summer ranges in the Mountain I region.

    The largest declines in number of hired farm workers from a year ago were in the Appalachian II (Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia), Corn Belt II (Iowa and Missouri) and Northern Plains (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas). In the Appalachian II region, corn, soybean, and tobacco harvest was well ahead of average and nearing completion. Stripping of tobacco continued at a slow pace due to lack of humidity and rainfall. Late-week heavy rains halted fieldwork in most of the Corn Belt II region following several days of favorable harvest weather. Cool, wet weather in the Dakotas slowed harvest there. Fall harvest was ahead of schedule in Kansas and Nebraska.


Table 1 -- Florida agricultural workers, number of workers, wage
rates, and hours worked, October 11 through 17, 1998, with comparisons
Employer, Year, and
survey week
Hired by farm operators    
Number of workers Hours
Worked
Per
Week
Wages Paid by Type of Work
  All    Expected to work All Field Livestock
150 days
or more
149 days
or less
HIRED BY FARMERS Thousands Hours Dollars Per Hour 1/
1998
    October 11 - 17 47 .0 42 .0 5 .0 43 .0 7.82 7.10 7.30
    July 12 - 18 45 .0 40 .0 5 .0 41 .5 8.08 7.25 6.90
    April 12 - 18 57 .0 43 .0 14 .0 39 .9 7.57 6.75 7.20
    January 11 - 17 51 .0 41 .0 10 .0 38 .3 8.22 7.45 8.00
1997
    October 12 - 18 45 .0 41 .0 4 .0 39 .9 7 .75 7.10 7 .65
    July 6 - 12 40 .0 36 .0 4 .0 41 .5 7 .60 6.71 6 .60
    April 6 - 12 60 .0 52 .0 8 .0 41 .0 7 .19 6.51 6 .30
    January 12 - 18 56 .0 46 .0 10 .0 35 .7 7 .45 6.80 6 .80
1996
    October 6 - 12 45 .0 40 .0 5 .0 37 .0 7.35 6.31 6.65
HIRED BY
AGRICULTURAL SERVICES

1998
    October 11 - 17 5 .9 30 .0 8.07
    July 12 - 18 5 .0 32 .0 8.60
    April 12 - 18 13 .0 40 .0 8.40
    January 11 - 17 16 .0 30 .0 9.20
1997
    October 12-18 *6 .0 *27 .0 *8 .30
    July 6 - 12 4 .0 39 .5 8.10
    April 6 - 12 13 .0 36 .0 8.44
    January 12 - 18 15 .8 37 .0 8.05
1996
    October 6 - 12 7 .0 24 .0 7.30
HIRED BY BOTH FARMERS &
AGRICULTURAL SERVICES

1998
    October 11 - 17 52 .9 7.84
    July 12 - 18 50 .0 8.12
    April 12 - 18 70 .0 7.72
    January 11 - 17 67 .0 8.41
1997
    October 12 - 18 51 .0 *7 .80
    July 6 - 12 44 .0 7.64
    January 12 - 18 71 .8 7 .59
1996
    October 6 - 12 51 .9 7.35
1/ Benefits, such as housing and meals, are provided some workers but the values are not included in the wage rates.
2/ Insufficient data.
*Revised.


Table 2 -- Number of workers hired by farmers, wage rates, and hours worked,
selected States, October 11 through 17, 1998, with comparisons 1/
Item Florida
California
Texas &
Oklahoma
Arizona &
New Mexico
Hawaii United
States 2/
Thousands
All hired workers
        October 11 - 17, 1998 47 312 53 25 8 983
        July 12 - 18, 1998 45 298 63 22 8 1,071
        October 12 - 18, 1997 45 220 66 20 8 1,004
Expected to work
    150 days or more
        October 11 - 17, 1998 42 242 37 21 7 696
        July 12 - 18, 1998 40 234 45 16 7 712
        October 12 - 18, 1997 41 145 45 16 7 648
     149 days or less
        October 11 - 17, 1998 5 70 16 4 1 287
        July 12 - 18, 1998 5 64 18 6 1 359
        October 12 - 18, 1997 4 75 21 4 1 356
Dollars per hour 3/
All hired worker wage rate
        October 11 - 17, 1998 7 .82 7 .75 6 .77 7 .00 10 .65 7 .60
        July 12 - 18, 1998 8 .08 7 .72 6 .32 6 .65 10 .30 7 .24
        October 12 - 18, 1997 7 .75 7 .55 6 .70 6 .85 9 .98 7 .31
Wages by type of worker
    Field & Livestock
        October 11 - 17, 1998 7 .13 7 .34 6 .28 6 .52 9 .17 7 .17
        July 12 - 18, 1998 7 .21 7 .19 5 .98 6 .22 8 .91 6 .80
        October 12 - 18, 1997 7 .19 7 .13 6 .41 6 .25 8 .55 6 .91

     Field
        October 11 - 17, 1998 7 .10 7 .29 6 .14 6 .55 9 .20 7 .15
        July 12 - 18, 1998 7 .25 7 .10 5 .98 6 .11 8 .82 6 .78
        October 12 - 18, 1997 7 .10 7 .06 6 .10 6 .17 8 .49 6 .94

     Livestock
        October 11 - 17, 1998 7 .30 7 .99 6 .58 6 .33 4/ 7 .28
        July 12 - 18, 1998 6 .90 8 .05 5 .98 6 .74 4/ 6 .91
        October 12 - 18, 1997 7 .65 7 .84 6 .73 6 .66 4/ 6 .80
Average hours per week
Hours worked by all hired workers
        October 11 - 17, 1998 43 .0 47 .7 39 .0 46 .8 36 .6 42 .7
        July 12 - 18, 1998 41 .5 44 .5 44 .4 47 .7 36 .6 40 .7
        October 12 - 18, 1997 39 .9 45 .6 38 .8 41 .5 36 .4 40 .9
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.


ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGE RATES


    The 1998 annual averages for the Nation's self employed, unpaid, and hired workers were 1.49 million, 460.5 and 879.5 thousand respectively. The self employed and unpaid worker annual averages were down from last year at 3 and 1 percent respectively. The hired workers annual average was virtually unchanged from a year ago.

    The 1998 U.S. hired worker annual average wage rate was $7.47, up 2 percent from the 1997 annual average wage rate of $7.35. The Field and Livestock worker combined annual average wage rate was $6.98, up 5 percent from the previous year's annual average wage rate of $6.64.

    Annual rates are the averages of the wage rates for each survey week weighted by the total number of hours worked during the week. The survey weeks include the 12th of the month for January, April, July, and October. Combining data for the four survey weeks provides a large enough sample to permit publication of some wages at the State level. For 1998, the relative sampling error, at the U.S. level, was 0.97 percent for the all hired worker wage rate. The relative sampling error was 1.0 percent for the combined field and livestock worker wage rate. The relative sampling error for all hired farm worker and combined field and livestock worker wage rates generally ranged between 2 and 6 percent at the regional level and 2 to 10 percent at the State level.

Table 3_Annual average wage rates, number of workers,
and hours worked, 1998 and 1997 1/ 2/
State and Region Wages Number Hours Worked by Hired Workers
by Type of Worker Self Employed Unpaid Hired
All Hired Field Field & Livestock
1998
    Florida 7 .91 7 .11 7 .13 25 .5 5 .8 50 .0 40 .6
    Texas & Oklahoma 6 .68 6 .21 6 .25 233 .8 46 .5 56 .5 40 .6
    Arizona & New Mexico 6 .97 6 .39 6 .42 14 .2 23 .3 20 .8 45 .1
    California 7 .71 7 .13 7 .23 36 .5 11 .5 246 .0 44 .1
    Hawaii 10 .41 8 .99 8 .97 3 .0 1 .0 7 .5 36 .0
    United States 3/ 7 .47 6 .97 6 .98 1,486 .1 460 .5 879 .5 40 .3
1997
    Florida *7 .47 6 .76 *6 .78 *28 .8 5 .3 *50 .3 *39 .4
    Texas & Oklahoma *6 .31 5 .67 5 .92 222 .5 40 .0 62 .5 40 .9
    Arizona & New Mexico *6 .67 6 .07 6 .08 15 .0 24 .5 19 .0 42 .0
    California 7 .32 6 .79 6 .87 38 .8 6 .3 188 .8 43 .6
    Hawaii *10 .15 8 .81 8 .83 3 .0 1 .0 7 .0 36 .7
    United States 3/ *7 .35 6 .66 6 .64 *1,526 .7 463 .2 *876 .5 40 .0
1/ Excludes Agricultural Service Workers.
2/ Annual rates are averages of the published wage rates for each survey week weighted by the number of hours worked during the week. The annual average for all States, Regions, and the U.S. is based on data collected for January, April, July, and October.
3/ Excludes AK.
*Revised.


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