GRAPHIC: Meat processing workers earn an average of $15.53 per hour, with state-level variation

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics shows meat processing workers were paid an average hourly wage of $15.53 in May 2020, its latest calculation. Workers experience higher illness and injury rates compared with other manufacturing jobs, but their average wage is lower than the average wage for all manufacturing employees, at $20.08 an hour. The 3,100 workers processing meat in Massachusetts earned the highest average hourly wage, $21.24, in the country. Louisiana, with just over 5,500 meat processing workers, had the lowest average hourly pay, at $11.89. California had nearly 40,000 such workers, the most in the country, and they received an average hourly rate of $16.76, the 14th largest in the nation. 

Data analysis: Data was pulled directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (selecting state data from https://www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm).