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Pandemic Employment Trends in U.S. Agriculture

Furloughs remain the most frequent action for employers that need to take action

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AgCareers.com continues to survey agricultural employers, candidates and employees to identify pandemic employment trends.

The company conducted three surveys from mid-March until the end of April to help both employers and candidates in hiring and career decision-making.

Employers

So far, most U.S. ag employers responding to our surveys have not acted to manage employment numbers within their organization with strategies such as lay-offs, furloughs, etc.; this remained steady over time at 81%.

For those that have acted, furloughs remained the most frequent action. The biggest impacts from these changes were to operations departments, including warehouse and manufacturing.

The majority (65%) of organizations felt that they would not need to implement employment management strategies at all during the pandemic. Of these, more than 30% said their business could financially support current staffing, either independently, or through government assistance.

Regarding summer internship plans, more organizations have made decisions on their summer programs, although nearly 23% are still evaluating. The most common change in internship programs was delaying interns’ start dates.

Employees/Job Seekers

Although most U.S. employees still say COVID-19 hasn’t changed their employment status, this percentage dropped from 75% to 69%. If there was a change, the most common change remained reduction in work hours. More job seekers and employees say they’re now exploring job options, increasing from 46% in the first surveys, to 61% in the latest survey.

The most recent survey also asked employees how the pandemic has affected their mental health; 38% said there’s been no change, but 58% said COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health. Nearly half of respondents said their employer provided communication, education, or support regarding mental health during the last month.

AgCareers.com continues to survey agricultural employees, candidates and employers on the ever-changing nature of COVID-19’s impact on agriculture. AgCareers.com will be identifying trends over time, highlighting key employer and job seeker concerns. Expect additional releases with updated data as it becomes available throughout the pandemic. For more information, view the AgCareers.com COVID-19 Resource Page or email [email protected].

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