By Frank J. Buchman
“There are fewer farm workers working less time but for higher wages per hour.”
That’s the brief analysis of the latest farm labor report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Nicholas Streff at the USDA office in Lincoln, Nebraska, announced the latest farm employment numbers for Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
There were 38,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on farms and ranches during the week of July 10-16, 2022.
The number is down 7-percent from the July 2021 reference week, according to Streff, who works for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Workers numbered 45,000 during the week of October 9-15, 2022, unchanged from the October 2021 reference week.
Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $17.69 per hour during July 2022, up 4 percent from July 2021.
Field workers received an average of $17.57 per hour, up 56 cents. Livestock workers earned $16.85 per hour, up 49 cents from a year earlier.
The field and livestock worker combined wage rate at $17.25, was up 54 cents from 2021.
Hired laborers worked an average of 44.4 hours during the July 2022 reference week, compared with 47.1 hours worked in July 2021.
Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $18.22 per hour in October, up 6-percent from October 2021.
Field workers received an average of $18.46 per hour, up $1.25, while livestock workers earned $16.88 per hour, up 43 cents from a year earlier.
The field and livestock workers combined wage rate, at $17.88, was up 97 cents from October 2021.
Hired laborers worked an average of 45.9 hours per week in October 2022, compared with 48.8 hours worked during the October 2021 reference week.
Specific local information can be found atwww.nass.usda.gov.
Farmers are paying higher hourly wages for laborers who are working fewer hours.