Washington Agricultural Industry is Growing

From January 2009 through January 2010 the agriculture industry in Washington grew, adding 12,300 new seasonal and permanent jobs according to a state report.
Not only did jobs increase in number, but wages grew from $8.79 per hour in January 2009 to 49.42 in 2010. This information follows a survey conducted with 1,800 farmers across Washington.
Many producers say the mild weather in January contributed to the growth of seasonal employment across the state. Workers were needed in north-central, southeast and south-central regions to prune fruit trees, especially apple trees.
“There’s no such thing as a recession in the agriculture industry,” said Bruce Grim, executive director at the Washington State Horticultural Association. “People have to eat.”
Over the year season jobs grew from 15,010 to 22,120 in 2010. “I don’t think people realize how huge an industry agriculture is in our state,” Dean Schau a regional labor economist said. “We measure our foreign exports in billions of dollars and it’s going all over the world.”
In 2009 Washington was able to have enough workers to complete their large, annual harvest. The recession is attributed to the employment growth with many people jumping from construction or building trades to agriculture.
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