Workers attach milkers in a parlor.
Workers attach milkers in a parlor.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $12.12/hour during the October 2014 reference week, up 1% from a year earlier, according to a quarterly Farm Labor report from USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service.

  • Field workers received an average of $11.52/hour, up 1% from a year earlier.
  • Livestock workers earned $11.29/hour, up 3%.
  • The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $11.46/hour, was up 19¢ from October 2013.

The largest percentage increases in average wage rates for all hired workers occurred in the California, Delta (Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi), and Mountain I (Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) regions. 

Hired laborers worked an average of 41.3 hours during the October 2014 reference week, compared with 41.7 hours a year earlier. 

When combined with January, April and July quarterly reports, the 2014 U.S. all hired worker annual average wage rate was $12.07/hour, up 2% from 2013. The 2014 U.S. field worker annual average wage rate was $11.29/hour, up 2% from 2013; the 2014 average combined wage for field and livestock workers was $11.29/hour, up 2% from the 2013 annual average of $11.10/hour.

All wage rates are calculated based on total wages paid and total hours worked during the survey reference week. Wages paid other than hourly (bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) are converted to an hourly basis. Wages paid by piece rate (per quantity of produce picked, etc.) are also converted to an hourly basis.

Benefits, such as cash bonuses, housing or meals, are not included in the average wages.

For the full report, including regional breakdowns, click here.

Region/States 

Northeast I: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont. 

Northeast II: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. 

Appalachian I: North Carolina, Virginia. 

Appalachian II: Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia. 

Southeast: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina. 

Lake: Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin. 

Cornbelt I: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio. 

Cornbelt II: Iowa, Missouri. 

Delta: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi. 

Northern Plains: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota. 

Southern Plains: Oklahoma, Texas. 

Mountain I: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming. 

Mountain II: Colorado, Nevada, Utah. 

Mountain III: Arizona, New Mexico. 

Pacific: Oregon, Washington.