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Northern Rocky Mountain Region wage rate increases

The number of hired farm and ranch workers in the tri-state region during the week of Jan. 11 to 17 was down 4,000 (21 percent) from a year ago, according to Steven Gunn with the Wyoming Field Office of U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.

During this period, 15,000 hired workers were working on farms and ranches in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region which includes Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The total excludes agricultural service workers. Of the 15,000 hired workers, 13,000 were expected to work for 150 days or more and 2,000 were expected to work 149 days or less, compared with 17,000 and 2,000 last year. The number of hired workers during the previous survey week Oct. 12 to 18, 2008 was 23,000. The average wage rate for all hired workers in the tri-state labor force during the survey week was $11.50 per hour, up $1.40 (14 percent) from October and up $1.10 (11 percent) from January 2008. Hired field workers were paid an average wage of $11.49 per hour compared with $9.62 last year. Hired livestock workers averaged $10.65 per hour compared with $9.98 last year. The average number of hours worked during the survey week was 40.0 unchanged from last January..

United States: There were 785,000 hired workers on the Nation's farms and ranches during the week of Jan. 11 to 17, up 2 percent from a year ago. Of these hired workers, 595,000 workers were hired directly by farm operators. Agricultural service employees on farms and ranches made up the remaining 190,000 workers.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $10.93 per hour during the January 2009 reference week, up 12 cents from a year earlier. Field workers received an average of $9.96 per hour, up 29 cents from last January, while livestock workers earned $10.27 per hour compared with $10.18 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $10.08 per hour, was up 20 cents from last year. The number of hours worked averaged 38.3 hours for hired workers during the survey week, down fractionally from a year ago.



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