- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the number of workers hired directly by farms in Iowa and Missouri during the reference week of April 6-12, was down 25 percent from a year ago.

The USDA collects Farm Labor Survey data for January, April, July and October for 15 geographic regions. Iowa and Missouri make up the Cornbelt Two Region.

In April this year 21,000 workers were hired in the two-state area compared with 28,000 a year ago.

The report says farm operators in the two-state area paid workers an average wage of $15.25 this year up $1.18 from a year ago.

Nationally farm operators paid hired workers an average of $12 per hour during this year’s reference week, up 1 percent from the previous year.

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