The number of hired workers were up by the largest increases in the nation in the North Carolina and Virginia region, according to the latest USDA Farm Labor report, released May 16 (2008), by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Overall, hired workers were down by 7% in the U.S., but poultry operations and the nursery greenhouse industry in the North Carolina-Virginia region set a strong demand for workers.
The wage rates of hired workers are also up in North Carolina and Virginia, as well as in South Carolina, according to the report. This increase in wages is largely due to the fact that a higher proportion of the workers have been needed in the higher paying nursery and greenhouse industries, NASS reported.
The average wage rate for all hired agricultural workers in Virginia and North Carolina in the period of April 6-12, 2008, was $9.98 per hour. That was up from $9.32 for a comparable time period (April 8-14) in 2007.
In the Southeast region, including South Carolina, the average wage rate was $9.66 for all hired workers during the period, up from $8.83 a year earlier. In the Appalachian II region, which includes West Virginia, the average wage rate for all hired workers was $10.05 per hour, up from $9.77 in 2007.
In the U.S. as a whole, hired workers were down by 7% but wage rates were up by 4% from a year ago.
Download the complete Farm Labor report from http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/FarmLabo/FarmLabo-05-16-2008.txt