Both wages and the number of farm labor workers are up compared with a year ago.
A new farm labor report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated that farm operators directly employed 809,000 workers during the week of Oct. 6-12, up 3% from the same week last year. The USDA report said farm operators paid their hired workers an average gross wage of $15.02 per hour during the October 2019 reference week, up 4% from a year ago.
The report said field workers received an average of $14.38 per hour, up 5% compared with a year ago. Livestock workers earned $13.77 per hour, up 3%. The combined field and livestock worker wage rate, at $14.21 per hour, was up 4% compared with a year ago.
The report said the 2019 all-hired worker annual average gross wage rate was $14.91 per hour, up 5% from the 2018 annual average gross wage rate. The report said the 2019 field worker annual average gross wage rate was $14.11 per hour, up 6% from the 2018 annual average.
The USDA reported the October wage rates for California field workers averaged $14.75 per hour, up from $14.10 per hour the same week last year. In Florida, field workers were paid $11.95 per hour in October 2019, up from $11.60 per hour last October. The field worker gross wage rate for Oregon and Washington averaged $16.56 per hour, up from $15.62 per hour a year ago.