Farm employment has increased in the last two years

A chart showing the average full and part year amount of hired farmworkers and agricultural service workers, years 1990 to 2010.

Hired farmworkers include field crop workers, nursery workers, livestock workers, farmworker supervisors, and hired farm managers. The average number of hired farmworkers has steadily declined over the last century, from roughly 3.4 million to just over 1 million. Because the U.S. labor force grew, agricultural employment as a proportion of total employment has declined even more sharply. According to the Farm Labor Survey, the annual average number of people employed as hired farmworkers, including agricultural service workers, decreased from 1,142,000 in 1990 to 1,053,000 in 2010. But, the survey also showed that average farm employment in 2010 was above 2007 levels. Employment is highly seasonal: in January of 2010, there were 802,000 workers, while in July the figure stood at 1,245,000. This chart appeared on the ERS website, in Farm Labor, updated in July 2011.

Download larger size chart (500 pixels by 407, 96 dpi)