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Abstract

The Hired Farm Working Force of 1972 (HFWF) consisted of about 2.8 million persons 14 years of age and over who did some farmwork for cash wages during the year. This was a 7 percent increase from the 2.6 million in 1971 and continues the increase which began in 1971 after a continuous decline in the number since 1967. Members of the 1972 HFWF were mostly young (median age 23), white (85 percent), male (77 percent), persons living in nonfarm places (72 percent). They earned an average of $1,160 in cash wages, or $13.20 a day for 88 days of farm wagework. Only 24 percent were engaged chiefly in farm wagework. Of these, 367,000 were year-round workers, who were the most fully employed and highest paid, averaging 306 days of farm wagework and earning $4,358. About 52 percent (primarily housewives and students) were not in the labor force most of the year. About 184,000, or 7 percent of the total, were domestic migratory workers. This was an increase of 7 percent from 172,000 in 1971 and reversed the declining trend in the number of migrants which began in 1965. The remainder of the hired farmworkers, the nonmigratory increased by 9 percent over 1971.

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