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Farm Hirings Up 40 Percent; Wages Nearing $16/Hour
Nebraska Ag Connection - 06/01/2020

In the Northern Plains Region (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) there were 42,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on farms and ranches during the week of April 12-18, 2020, up 40 percent from the April 2019 reference week, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Workers numbered 35,000 during the week of January 12-18, 2020, up 40 percent from the January 2019 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $15.93 per hour during the April 2020 reference week, up 2 percent from the April 2019 reference week. Field workers received an average of $15.89 per hour, down 24 cents. Livestock workers earned $14.59 per hour compared with $13.42 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $15.20, was up 60 cents from the April 2019 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 41.5 hours during the April 2020 reference week, compared with 42.9 hours worked during the April 2019 reference week.

Farm operators in the Northern Plains Region paid their hired workers an average wage of $16.41 per hour during the January 2020 reference week, up 4 percent from the January 2019 reference week. Field workers received an average of $16.83 per hour, up 19 cents. Livestock workers earned $14.63 per hour, up 121 cents. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $15.55, was up 85 cents from the January 2019 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 40.9 hours during the January 2020 reference week, compared with 42.9 hours worked during the January 2019 reference week.

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