Labor study shows decrease in hired workers in northeast region

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — There were 36,000 hired workers in the Northeast II region farms during the week of Oct. 9-15. This is 1,000 workers less than a year ago. The Northeast II region includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Average hours

The weekly average number of hours for these employees was 39.0. This is down from 41.9 hours compared to a year ago.

Farm operators in the Northeast II region paid their hired workers an average wage of $11.16 per hour during the October 2011 reference week, compared to $12.05 a year ago. Field workers received $10.04 per hour, down $1.80 from last October, while livestock workers earned $10.43 per hour, up 26 cents from a year ago.

Nationwide

Nationally, there were 1,141,000 hired workers on the nation’s farms and ranches during the week of Oct. 9-15, down 1 percent from a year ago. Of these hired workers, 828,000 were hired directly by farm operators. Agricultural service employees on farms and ranches made up the remaining 313,000 workers.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $11.15 per hour during the October 2011 reference week, up 2 cents from a year earlier. Field workers received an average of $10.54 per hour, up 5 cents from last October, while livestock workers earned $10.67 per hour compared with $10.28 a year earlier.

The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $10.57 per hour, was up 14 cents from last year. The number of hours worked averaged 41.6 for hired workers during the survey week, down fractionally from a year ago.

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