Initially, using a Markov transition matrix, the study analyses the regional convergence of the state of Rio Grande do Sul to a similar level of rural labor occupied per hectare. The results indicate that there would occur a small increase in the percentage of regions in the class situated above the state average and in the one located below the state average. The percentage of the regions in the two classes situated at the most inferior levels and in the two classes at the most superior levels of labor occupation would reduce very little. In the second part, a regression analyses with panel data was used to examine the variables that would explain the evolution of the levels of labor occupation. The data are from 1975 and 2006 IBGE agricultural censuses. The participation of the rural establishments greater than two hundred hectares; the level of mechanization; the crops of rice, soybeans and beans; and the participation level of cattle and sheep in the livestock production presented negative impacts on labor occupation. The participation of the rural establishments smaller than twenty hectares; the greater equality in the area distribution among the rural establishments (lower GINI index); and the crops of tobacco and grapes presented positive effects.


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