In August, the USDA’s Economic Research Service released forecasts indicating that overall cash labor expenditures within the U.S. agricultural sector are projected to reach $43.35 billion by the end of 2023.
This figure represents a 1.84% (equivalent to $780 million) increase from the previous year when adjusted for inflation to 2023 dollars.
Labor expenses are an essential factor in agricultural production costs. According to USDA, from every $100 spent on production expenses, nearly $10 goes to labor, which excludes non-cash employee compensation.
The USDA report points out that the animal production sector uses less hired labor in comparison to other subsectors of agriculture. While hired labor comprises two-thirds of total labor expenses for crop production, it constitutes only one-third for the animal production sector.
Crops such as fruits, vegetables and melons are more labor-intensive.
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