Number of Farm Workers Increases; Farm Wages Decrease

Number of Farm Workers Increases; Farm Wages Decrease November 17, 2017

In the Northern Plains Region (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) 36,000 workers were directly employed by farm operators on farms and ranches during the week of July 9-15, up 6% from the July 2016 reference week, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Workers numbered 40,000 during the week of October 8-14, up 18% from the October 2016 reference week.

Farm operators in the Northern Plains Region paid their hired workers an average wage of $13.94 per hour during the July 2017 reference week, down 4% from the July 2016 reference week. Field workers received an average of $13.83 per hour, down 134 cents. Livestock workers earned $12.89 per hour, up 6 cents. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate at $13.40, was down 70 cents from the 2016 reference week. Hired laborers worked an  average of 44.4 hours during the July 2017 reference week, compared with 44.0 hours worked during the July 2016 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $14.53 per hour during the October 2017 reference week, down slightly from the October 2016 reference week. Field workers received an average of $14.93 per hour, down 40 cents. Livestock workers earned $12.76 per hour compared with $12.50 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at 14.00, was down 15 cents from the October 2016 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 45.8 hours during the October 2017 reference week, compared with 44.8 hours worked during the October 2016 reference week.