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January 2007, Volume 13, Number 1
Average Weekly Wages of California Agricultural and Construction Workers, 2001-2005
There are many reports of farm workers leaving for construction jobs. Construction employment rose by 14 percent between 2001 and 2005, while agricultural employment fell by one percent. However, average weekly wages rose faster in agriculture, 12 percent, than in construction, eight percent, between 2001 and 2005.
Within agriculture, average weekly wages in 2005 ranged from a low of $272 for employees of farm labor contractors to a high of $581 for workers in mushrooms. Average weekly wages were roughly the same in dairies and vegetables, about $500 a week, but significantly lower in fruit and especially strawberries, about $360 a week.