Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $11.13/hour during the October 2010 reference week, up 20¢ from a year earlier. Field workers received an average of $10.49/hour, up 27¢ from last October, while livestock workers earned $10.27/hour compared with $10.28 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate – $10.43/hour – was up 19¢ from last year. The number of hours worked averaged 41.7 for hired workers during the survey week, up 7% from a year ago.

Hired worker wage rates were generally above a year ago in most regions. The largest increases occurred in the Northeast II (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), Northeast I (New England and New York), Corn Belt II (Iowa and Missouri) and Lake (Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin) regions. In the two Northeast regions, the higher wages were due to strong demand from the nursery and greenhouse industry. The higher wages in the Corn Belt II region were due to strong demand for skilled workers to help with the grain harvest. In the Lake region, the higher wages were due to more salaried workers working fewer hours, which pushed the average wage up.

The 2010 U.S. all hired worker annual average wage rate was $10.95/hour, up 1% from the 2009 annual average wage rate of $10.83. The U.S. field worker annual average wage rate was $10.19/hour, up 12¢ from last year's annual average. The field and livestock combined annual average wage rate at the U.S. level was $10.22/hour, up 1% from last year's annual average wage rate of $10.12.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Revisions have been made to workers, hours, and wages for California and the U.S. for the July 2008 through April 2010 time period. These revisions are published in Quick Stats 2.0 accessible via the NASS website. Further explanation of these revisions is provided on page 22 of this publication.