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Worker Numbers Down Sharply, Prices Up Slightly

There were 58,000 workers hired directly by farms in the Lake Region (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) during the reference week of July 12-18, 2020, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Farm Labor Report. 

This was down 12% from the July 2019 reference week. Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage rate of $15.24 per hour, up 19 cents from July 2019.

The number of hours worked averaged 39.8 for hired workers during the reference week, compared with 40.5 hours during the July 2019 reference week. 

During the reference week of October 11-17, 2020, there were 57,000 workers hired directly by farms in the Lake Region (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). 

This was down 16% from the October 2019 reference week. Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage rate of $15.72 per hour during the October 2020 reference week, up 8 cents from October 2019. 

The number of hours worked averaged 41.3 for hired workers during the reference week, up from 41.0 hours during the October 2019 reference week. 

There were 758,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on the Nation’s farms and ranches during the week of October 11-17, 2020, down 6% from the October 2019 reference week. 

Workers hired directly by farm operators numbered 777,000 during the week of July 12-18, 2020, down 3% from the July 2019 reference week. 

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average gross wage of $15.87 per hour during the October 2020 reference week, up 6% from the October 2019 reference week. 

Field workers received an average of $15.28 per hour, up 6%. Livestock workers earned $14.62 per hour, up 6%. 

The field and livestock worker combined gross wage rate, at $15.10 per hour, was up 6% from the 2019 reference week. 

Hired laborers worked an average of 42.1 hours during the October 2020 reference week, down 1% from the hours worked during the October 2019 reference week. 

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average gross wage of $15.62 per hour during the July 2020 reference week, up 5% from the July 2019 reference week. 

Field workers received an average of $14.98 per hour, up 6%, while livestock workers earned $14.50 per hour, up 5% from a year earlier. 

The field and livestock worker combined gross wage rate, at $14.85 per hour, was up 5% from the July 2019 reference week. 

Hired laborers worked an average of 41.4 hours during the July 2020 reference week, down 1% from the hours worked during the July 2019 reference week. 

The 2020 all hired worker annual average gross wage rate was $15.49 per hour, up 4% from the 2019 annual average gross wage rate. 

The 2020 field worker annual average gross wage rate was $14.76 per hour, up 5% from the 2019 annual average. 

The 2020 livestock worker annual average gross wage rate was $14.35 per hour. 

The 2020 annual average combined gross wage for field and livestock workers was $14.62, up 5% from the 2019 annual average of $13.99 per hour.


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