Progress 10/01/03 to 09/30/08
Over the course of this project, updates were made twice to an ERS database of employment in farm and farm-related industriesonce based on 1997 data and again with data through 2000. Estimates are derived by combining farm employment data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis with an enhanced file of the Census Bureau's County Business Patterns. The Farm and Farm-Related Employment data is available on the ERS website, which provides estimates for 1981-2000. The project was completed with an update to the Labor Chapter contained in the Rural Labor and Education Briefing Room on the ERS website.
Farming and its related industries provided 25.8 million jobs, or about 15.6 percent of total U.S. employment in 2000. Farm production employment, which includes farm proprietors and hired farmworkers, provided 3.1 million jobs. Agricultural services, forestry, and fishing employed 479,000 workers. Agricultural input industries, including farm machinery and equipment manufacturing, provided over 477,000 jobs. Agricultural processing and marketing industries, which prepare agricultural products after they leave the farm, contributed more than 2.8 million jobs. Industries peripherally related to farmingwholesale and retail trade of agricultural products (18.3 million jobs) accounted for the largest share of farm and farm-related employment. Agricultural wholesale and retail trade industries account for about two-thirds of farm and farm-related employment, but farm production remains an important source of rural jobs in specific geographic areas. The Rural Labor and Education Briefing Room update finds that hired farmworkers make up less than 1 percent of all U.S. wage and salary workers, but they make a major contribution to agriculture by providing labor during critical production periods. Yet, hired farmworkers continue to be one of the most economically disadvantaged groups in the United States. Hired farmworkers are employed in both metro and nonmetro areas. The statistics presented in this chapter, therefore, refer to farmworkers nationwide rather than in nonmetro areas only.
Progress 10/01/03 to 09/30/04
Preparations are being made to add 2001-02 data to the database.