During January, the total number of hired workers was estimated at 767,000 individuals, down 2 percent from a year ago.

The average number of hours worked stood at 37.3, down 3 percent from a year ago.

Continuing last year’s trend, hired worker wage rates were up from a year ago in most regions.

The largest increases in wage rates occurred in the Mountain II (Colorado, Nevada and Utah), Northern Plains (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota), Florida, Northeast II and Northeast I regions.

The average wage rate was $11.06 per hour, up 13 cents from a year earlier. Field workers received $10.14, up 18 cents from last January.

To read the full article by ag economist Vera Bitsch, visit Michigan State University.