The report said that farmers in the state spend more for labor than farmers from other states. For the year 2011, Washington labor expenses were 20 percent of the agricultural production expenses. For the same year, the percentage was 12.4 across the country.
Farm work in Washington is also increasing, even though there have been complaints about the lack of jobs. In 2011, the average monthly employment hit 81,573. In 2012, the average monthly employment hit 87,249, good for a seven percent increase.
Compared to other states, farm workers in Washington and Oregon are typically paid more per hour. Farm workers in these two states make 15.9 percent more per hour compared to the same employees in California. In October, the average hourly rate for Washington was $13.59.
The product that paid the best is that of wheat. Workers in the wheat sector were paid $16.17 per hour. Potato farmers and animal production support employees followed suit for 2012. The lowest average wage belonged to apple farmers, with an average hourly wage of $12.65.
In 2012, there were an estimated 44,000 seasonal workers hired in Washington. Of those, 14,000 were hired in Yakima and Klickitat counties. The entire report can be found at the government site for the state of Washington.Agricultural Workforce Jobs Report Released in Washington by Andrew Ostler