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July 29 -- The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture invites public comment to OMB by September 1, 2021 regarding the 2021 Agricultural Labor Survey.
 
Agricultural labor statistics are an integral part of the primary function of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), which is the collection, processing, and dissemination of current State, regional, and national agricultural statistics. Wage rate estimates have been published since 1866 and U.S. farm employment estimates have been published since 1910.
 
Previously, funding for the Agricultural Labor Survey was provided through a cooperative agreement between NASS and the US Dept. of Labor (DOL). Beginning with the October 2021 Agricultural Labor Survey, funding from DOL will no longer be provided. As a result several changes will be made to the survey being conducted in Oct. 2021. The overall sample size will be reduced to approximately 18,000 and questions relating to base and overtime, wages and hours, along with any bonuses paid to farm workers will be removed. NASS will still collect gross hours and wages for all farm workers. The changes to our current approval are summarized as:

•    Remove from the questionnaire questions regarding: base hours worked and wages, overtime hours worked and wages, and bonus wages
•    No longer publish: estimates for Standard Occupational Code (SOC) by region (national-level gross wage rates by SOC estimates will continue), base or overtime hours and wages for any geographic area (i.e., national or regional)
•    The sample size will be reduced because regional SOC estimates will not be published.

NASS will continue to:
•    Collect data on gross hours worked and wages
•    Publish quarterly gross wage rates and hours by SOC at the national level
•    Publish quarterly and annual gross wage rates and hours at the Agricultural Labor Region level
 
Farm Labor Survey webpage: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Farm_Labor/
2021 Agricultural Labor Survey submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202107-0535-004 Click on View Supporting Statement for changes in survey form and technical documentation
FR notice inviting public comment:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/07/29/2021-16180/submission-for-omb-review-comment-request
 
Point of contact:  Barbara Rater, Director, NASS Census and Survey Division barbara.rater@usda.gov (202) 720-3818
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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