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Abstract

The Hired Farm Working Force of 1971 (HFWF) consisted of about 2.6 million persons 14 years of age and over who did some farmwork for cash wages during the year. This slight increase, 4 percent, from the 2.5 million in 1970 reversed the declining trend in process since 1967. Members of the 1971 HFWF were mostly young (median age 22), white (78 percent), male (76 percent), persons living in nonfarm places (73 percent). They earned an average of $882 in cash wages, or $11.60 a day for 76 days of farm wagework. Only 19 percent were engaged chiefly in farm wagework. Of these, 285,000 were year-round workers, who were the most fully employed and highest paid, averaging 317 days of farm wagework and earning $3,799. About 58 percent (primarily housewives and students) were not in the labor force most of the year. About 172,000, or 7 percent of the total, were domestic migratory workers. This was a drop of 12 percent from 196,000 in 1970 and a continuation of the 4-year declining trend in migrant numbers, while the remainder of the hired farmworkers reversed the downward trend and increased by 4 percent.

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