Farmers Employing More Farm Workers, Paying Higher Wages

U.S. farmers are hiring more laborers than they were a year ago and they’re paying higher wages too, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farm operators directly employed 809,000 workers during the week of October sixth, three percent higher than the same time last year. The USDA also said farmers paid an average gross wage of $15.02 per hour during the same week in October, four percent more than last year.

Field laborers averaged $14.38 per hour, which is five percent higher than last year. Livestock workers earned an average of $13.77 per hour, which is three percent higher than last year. The combined livestock and field worker wages average $14.21 per hour, four percent higher than last year.

The report says the 2019 all-hired worker annual average gross wage rate comes in at $14.91 per hour, five percent higher than in 2018. The 2019 field worker’s annual average gross wage rate was at $14.11 per hour, six percent higher than the annual average in 2018.

Field workers in Oregon and Washington were among the highest-paid this year, averaging $16.56 per hour, up from $15.62 last year.