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Abstract

Loss of farm employment or low farm income would not equally affect the 5.6 million U.S. agricultural work force households and their 17.6 million members. These are households in which any member does any kind of farmwork at any time during the year. Most affected by a loss of farm employment or low farm income would be the 1.6 million households (more than 5 million people) of which the head is primarily a farmworker. When farm employment opportunities disappear or farm income is low, heads of these households would likely seek jobs in the nonfarm sector, increasing pressure on the nonfarm labor market, particularly in sparsely settled areas. Sixty-seven percent of all agricultural work force households would be little affected, since no one in the household depends primarily on farmwork for employment. Another 4 percent of the households depend only moderately on farmwork, with some member other than the head of household working primarily on a farm. Data are based on the 1985 Agricultural Work Force Survey (AWFS).

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