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Jobs Outlook: Agricultural Workers




Overall employment of agricultural workers is projected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations over the 2002–12 period, primarily reflecting the outlook for farmworkers, who make up the large majority of all agricultural workers. Low wages, the physical demands of the work, and high job turnover should result in abundant job opportunities, however.

Continued consolidation of farms and technological advancements in farm equipment will dampen employment growth. Nevertheless, those farms remaining in operation will still need workers to help with their operations, and farm labor contractors’ employment of farmworkers is expected to increase steadily. Nursery and greenhouse workers should have the most rapid job growth, reflecting the increasing demand for landscaping services.

Slower-than-average employment growth also is anticipated for agricultural inspectors. Governments at all levels are not expected to hire significant numbers of new inspectors, choosing to leave more of the routine inspection to businesses. Slower-than-average growth also is expected for graders and sorters, and agricultural equipment operators, reflecting the agriculture industry’s continuing ability to produce more with fewer workers.