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FARM LABOR
November 23, 1999

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



FLORIDA

    The number of workers paid by farmers and agricultural services totaled 63,000 for the week of October 10 through 16. Farmers hired 58,000 workers compared with 45,000 in July 1999 and 47,000 in October 1998. Agricultural services hired 5,000 compared with 3,000 last quarter and 6,000 a year ago. Vegetable planting was active in most areas before Hurricane Irene hit at the end of the survey period. Grove caretakers continued harvesting, cut cover crops, pushed and burned dead trees from groves, and planted some resets. Harvesting of cotton, soybeans, peanuts, and hay was active.
    The October 1999 all hired worker wage rate averaged $8.09 per hour, 27 cents or three percent below the $8.36 per hour paid last quarter, but 25 cents or three percent higher than the $7.84 per hour paid last year. Farmers paid an average of $8.05 per hour, 27 cents below the $8.32 paid last quarter, but 23 cents higher than the $7.82 paid last year. Agricultural services paid workers an average of $8.65 per hour compared with $8.85 paid last quarter and $8.05 paid last year.

UNITED STATES

    There were 1.29 million hired workers on the Nation's farms and ranches the week of October 10-16, 1999, up 3 percent from a year ago. There were 989,000 workers hired directly by farm operators. Agricultural service employees on farms and ranches made up the remaining 296,000 workers. Migrant workers accounted for 12 percent of the October hired workforce compared to 11 percent last year.

    Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $7.83 per hour during the October 1999 survey week, up 23 cents from a year earlier. Field workers received an average of $7.31 per hour, up 16 cents from last October. Livestock workers earned $7.43 per hour compared with $7.28 a year earlier. The Field and Livestock worker combined wage rate was up 16 cents from last year.

    Number of hours worked averaged 42.5 hours for hired workers during the survey week compared with 42.7 hours a year ago.

    The largest increases in number of hired farm workers over last year occurred in Florida, Northern Plains (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas), Corn Belt I (Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio), and Lake (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) regions. Favorable weather conditions during the survey week in the Northern Plains, Corn Belt I, and Lake regions allowed farmers and ranchers to harvest crops, plant winter wheat, till soils, move cattle from summer pastures, and haul hay in preparation for winter.

    The largest declines in number of hired farm workers from a year ago were in California, Southeast (Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina), and Mountain III (Arizona and New Mexico) regions. Rainfall over most of the Southeast region during the survey week slowed harvest of crops. In California, worker numbers returned to more normal levels as compared to last year. Additional workers were needed last October to harvest late developing crops caused by the El Nino weather pattern. Cotton harvest in Mountain III continued behind last year's pace due to a late start in the spring.

    The 1999 annual averages for the Nation's self employed, unpaid, and hired workers were 1.56 million, 490,000, and 929,000, respectively. The self employed, unpaid, and hired worker annual averages were up from last year at 5, 6, and 6 percent, respectively.

    The 1999 U.S. hired worker annual average wage rate was $7.77, up 4 percent from the 1998 annual average wage rate of $7.47. The Field and Livestock worker combined annual average wage rate was $7.22, up 3 percent from last year's annual average wage rate of $6.98.

Revisions:

    The July 1999 hired workers estimates were revised for the U.S. and California. These revisions were based on additional information received in California as part of the ongoing Federal- State cooperative program.


Table 1 -- Florida agricultural workers, number of workers, wage
rates, and hours worked, October 10 - 16, 1999, 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/
1999
  October 10 - 16 58 .0 47 .0 11 .0 38 .8 8 .05 7.05 7.00
  July 11 - 17 45 .0 40 .0 5 .0 *39 .7 *8 .32 7.25 7.30
  April 11 - 17 54 .0 46 .0 8 .0 41 .1 8 .18 7.40 6.90
  January 10 - 16 55 .0 48 .0 7 .0 39 .1 8 .31 7.35 7.00
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 .7 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
40 .0 36 .0 4 .0 41 .5 7 .60 6.71 6 .60
HIRED BY
AGRICULTURAL SERVICES

1999
  October 10 - 16 5 .0 32 .0 8 .65
  July 11 - 17 3 .0 45 .0 8 .85
  April 11 - 17 9 .0 38 .0 8 .30
  January 10 - 16 12 .0 35 .0 8 .50
1998
  October 11 - 17 6 .0 30 .0 8 .05
  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 8 .80
1997
  October 12-18 6 .0 27 .0 8 .30
HIRED BY BOTH FARMERS &
AGRICULTURAL SERVICES

1999
  October 10 - 16 63 .0 8 .09
  July 11 - 17 48 .0 *8 .36
  April 11 - 17 63 .0 8 .20
  January 10 - 16 67 .0 8 .34
1998
  October 11 - 17 53 .0 7 .84
  July 12 - 18 50 .0 8 .12
  April 12 - 18 70 .0 7 .73
  January 11 - 17 67 .0 8 .33
1997
  October 12 - 18 51 .0 7 .80
1/ Benefits, such as housing and meals, are provided some workers but the values are not included in the wage rates.
*Revised.


Table 2 -- Number of workers hired by farmers, wage rates, and hours worked,
selected States, October 10 - 16, 1999, with comparisons 1/
Item Florida
California
Texas &
Oklahoma
Arizona &
New Mexico
Hawaii United
States 2/
Thousands
All hired workers
    October 10 - 16, 1999 58 261 52 22 8 989
    July 11 - 17, 1999 45 *322 60 19 8 *1,155
    October 11 - 17, 1998 47 312 53 25 8 983
Expected to work
  150 days or less
    October 10 - 16, 1999 47 171 39 19 7 665
    July 11 - 17, 1999 40 *241 39 15 7 *760
    October 11 - 17, 1998 42 242 37 21 7 696
   149 days or less  
    October 10 - 16, 1999 11 90 13 3 1 324
    July 11 - 17, 1999 5 81 21 4 1 395
    October 11 - 17, 1998 5 70 16 4 1 287
Dollars per hour 3/
All hired worker wage rate
    October 10 - 16, 1999 8 .05 7 .86 7 .24 7 .12 10 .91 7 .83
    July 11 - 17, 1999 *8 .32 7 .77 6 .60 7 .17 10 .88 7 .58
    October 11 - 17, 1998 7 .82 7 .75 6 .77 7 .00 10 .65 7 .60
Wages by type of worker
  Field & Livestock
    October 10 - 16, 1999 7 .04 7 .30 6 .74 6 .69 9 .24 7 .33
    July 11 - 17, 1999 7 .26 *7 .22 6 .26 6 .56 9 .53 *7 .08
    October 11 - 17, 1998 7 .13 7 .34 6 .28 6 .52 9 .17 7 .17
   Field  
    October 10 - 16, 1999 7 .05 7 .25 6 .48 6 .51 9 .21 7 .31
    July 11 - 17, 1999 7 .25 7 .15 6 .23 6 .52 9 .51 7 .05
    October 11 - 17, 1998 7 .10 7 .29 6 .14 6 .55 9 .20 7 .15
   Livestock  
    October 10 - 16, 1999 7 .00 8 .03 7 .29 7 .40 4/ 7 .43
    July 11 - 17, 1999 7 .30 *8 .05 6 .40 6 .68 4/ *7 .22
    October 11 - 17, 1998 7 .30 7 .99 6 .58 6 .33 4/ 7 .28
Average hours per week
Hours worked by all hired workers
    October 10 - 16, 1999 38 .8 46 .7 39 .2 44 .9 36 .9 42 .5
    July 11 - 17, 1999 *39 .7 *46 .9 40 .3 47 .2 37 .4 *40 .5
    October 11 - 17, 1998 43 .0 47 .7 39 .0 46 .8 36 .6 42 .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.
*Revised.


ANNUAL AVERAGE WAGE RATES

    Included with this report are the annual average wage rates for 1998 and 1999. 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. Annual average wage rates for both 1998 and 1999 are published at the State, regional and U.S. level for the all hired wage rate, the field worker wage rate, and the combined field and livestock worker wage rate. For 1999, the relative sampling error, at the U.S. level, was 1.1 percent for the all hired worker wage rate. The relative sampling error was 1.1 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 11 percent at the State level.


Table 3--Annual average wage rates, number of workers, and hours worked, 1999 and 1998 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
1999
  Florida 8 .21 7 .26 7 .25 29 .5 5 .8 53 .0 39 .7
  Texas & Oklahoma 6 .97 6 .38 6 .49 259 .5 59 .0 52 .8 38 .6

  Arizona & New Mexico

7 .28 6 .61 6 .74 12 .8 24 .5 19 .3 44 .9
  California 7 .88 7 .18 7 .27 37 .0 12 .5 277 .3 44 .1
  Hawaii 10 .87 9 .38 9 .38 3 .2 1 .1 7 .5 37 .1
  United States 3/ 7 .77 7 .19 7 .22 1,558 .4 490 .0 929 .0 40 .3
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
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.


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