0109 - 2017_October_ Labor Backgrounder.pdf

Agricultural Labor


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NASS Programs

2017 Agricultural Labor Survey

About the Survey

How NASS Collects Data

Who Uses the Information

USDA’s National Agricultural
Statistics Service (NASS) conducts
the Agricultural Labor Survey
twice a year, in April and October.
The survey asks for:
•	 Number of hired workers
worked on the farm;
•	 Total number of hours
•	 Total wages paid each
reference week.

NASS will conduct the
Agricultural Labor Survey in
every state except Alaska.

NASS labor estimates
impact the entire agriculture
community. Federal, state, and
local government agencies, as
well as educational institutions,
farm organizations, and private
sector employers all use these
data. For example:

NASS will publish the results of
the October survey on November
20, 2017.

Producers who receive the survey
may respond in either of the
following ways:

•	 The Department of Labor
uses the results of this survey
to establish minimum wage
rates for agricultural workers
and assist legislators in
determining labor policies.

All previous farm labor
publications are available online

•	 Online at This is the easiest, fastest, and
most secure way to complete
the survey.

•	 USDA and the Department
of Labor use the data to
estimate the demand for,
and availability of seasonal
agricultural workers.

•	 By mail – Producers fill out
the survey and return it in the
envelope provided.

•	 Agencies responsible for
administering farm labor
recruitment and placement
programs use the statistics in
their planning and evaluation.

Response Confidentiality
All information NASS collects in
this survey will be kept strictly
confidential, as required by
federal law. The results of this
survey will be available in
aggregate form only, ensuring
that no individual operation or
producer can be identified.

NASS will mail the
survey in October to more than
14,000 agricultural operations,
asking them to provide
information for two one-week
periods in 2017:
July 9-15 and October 8-14.

A NASS representative will
contact producers who do not
respond to offer the option of a
telephone or personal interview.

United States Department of Agriculture
National Agricultural Statistics Service

•	 Farm operators can use the
information to compare wage
rates and labor demand
in their area to other areas
around the country.

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