• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Digest
 Preface and acknowledgements
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Florida farm labor survey
 Characteristics of Florida agricultural...
 Characteristics of Florida agricultural...
 Unemployment insurance--impact...
 Possible effects from the implementation...
 Glossary
 References
 Historic note






Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida, Agricultural Experiment Stations ; 767
Title: Florida agricultural labor and unemployment insurance
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027434/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida agricultural labor and unemployment insurance
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida, Agricultural Experiment Stations
Physical Description: vii, 55 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Polopolus, Leo
Emerson, Robert D. ( joint author )
Publisher: Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1975
 Subjects
Subject: Insurance, Unemployment -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Agricultural laborers -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
statistics   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 55.
Statement of Responsibility: Leo Polopolus and Robert D. Emerson.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027434
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000301299
oclc - 01585423
notis - ABS7786
lccn - 75622516

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page i-a
    Digest
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Preface and acknowledgements
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Florida farm labor survey
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Characteristics of Florida agricultural employees
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Characteristics of Florida agricultural workers
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Unemployment insurance--impact and feasibility
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Possible effects from the implementation of an unemployment insurance program in agriculture
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Glossary
        Page 53
        Page 54
    References
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Historic note
        Page 57
Full Text
767 January 1975

. ..














FLORIDA

AGRICULTURAL
LABOR
AND
UNEMPLOYMENT
INSURANCE
Leo Polopolus and Robert D. Emerson
0
Agricultural Experiment Stations
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
J. W. Sites, Dean for Research










FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL LABOR AND
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Leo Polopolus and Robert D. Emerson

Dr. Polopolus is Professor and Department Chairman and Dr.
Emerson is an Assistant Professor in the Food and Resource
Economics Department, University of Florida.


This public document was promulgated at an annual
cost of $2507.36, or a cost of 634 per copy to disseminate a
summary of a study undertaken to examine the impact of
extending unemployment insurance to agricultural workers
and to make available information on agricultural employ-
ers and workers in Florida.













DIGEST


Agricultural employers and workers were surveyed in Flor-
ida during the fall and winter of 1970-71 as a part of a 15-state
cooperative project to determine the cost of extending unem-
ployment insurance to agriculture. The number of employers
and workers estimated on the basis of the Florida survey were
5,289 and 66,778, respectively.
The employers in the survey had an average gross payroll of
$45,822 and an average of 65 workers. Only 83 of the employers
were corporations with more than 10 stockholders. The largest
group of employers-1,491-were operators of fruit and nut
farms, representing a $76 million payroll.
Nearly all employers would be covered under a provision
of one or more workers in at least 20 weeks or a quarterly pay-
roll of $1500, while slightly more than half of the employers
would be covered with a provision of four or more workers in
20 or more weeks or a quarterly payroll of at least $5000. As is
to be expected, the number of large employers, such as corpora-
tions with 10 or more stockholders or those with sales of
$40,000 or more, is less sensitive to changes in the coverage
criteria than all employers taken together. Separating employers
by type of farm indicates that nearly all employers are covered
for each farm type with the provision of one or more workers
in at least 20 weeks or a quarterly payroll of at least $1500.
The vegetable, fruit and nut, dairy, and miscellaneous employers
maintain the highest degree of coverage as the criterion becomes
less inclusive.















The majority of agricultural workers in Florida, 56 per
cent, were black, and 33 per cent were white. Agricultural
workers typically had little formal education; 60 per cent had
an eighth grade education or less. Migratory workers repre-
sented 26 per cent of the workers interviewed. Of those workers
who were labor force participants during at least one week of
the analysis year, 74 per cent were participants for the entire
year. The average number of weeks worked by agricultural
workers was 46, and average hired earriings were $3,674. Al-
though nearly all workers met the monetary eligibility require-
ment for benefits under unemployment insurance, only 31 per
cent of those had periods of compensable unemployment in which
they could claim such benefits. Migrants, blacks, and women
were somewhat more likely to be actual beneficiaries than their
respective counterparts. The average weekly benefit amount for
actual beneficiaries was $34.70 with an average duration of 9.5
weeks.
The cost of providing unemployment insurance benefits
is approximately 3 per cent of the taxable payroll for agricul-
ture. The average benefit cost rate for currently covered em-
ployers in Florida was 0.9 per cent in 1971. With the present
maximum tax rate of 1.0 per cent for new employers for
the first three years in the program, nonagricultural employers
would be subsidizing agricultural employers. After this period,
however, the average of 3 per cent is below the maximum tax
rate of 4.5 per cent for "experienced" employers.






PREFACE


This report deals with possible effects of initiating unem-
ployment insurance in Florida agriculture. In addition, a de-
scription of Florida agricultural employers and workers in the
context of proposed unemployment insurance alternatives is
given. For example, average payroll data per employer are
presented for farm and nonfarm agricultural employers, by
type of ownership, economic class, and type of farm. Florida
agricultural workers are described in terms of migratory status,
sex, age, education, and ethnic origin, among other categories.
The report also has an analysis of some possible effects of an
unemployment insurance program upon the migration of
workers.
It is not the intention of either the individual researchers
of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the Univer-
sity of Florida to support or oppose unemployment insurance
legislation. Moreover, statements and interpretations in this
report are the responsibility of the authors and are not meant
to reflect the official position or policy of the U.S. Department
of Labor, the Executive and Technical Committee of NE-58,
nor the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the
University of Florida. It is hoped, however, that this document
will serve a useful purpose in the legislative debates that lie
ahead.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
- Thousands of employers and agricultural workers in Florida.
- University of Florida Farm Labor Survey staff (Galen C. Moses, Larry
Reuss, Jim Giles, Ron Muraro, Stu Monplaisir, and Cindy Bass, plus
other enumerators, field supervisors, clerical workers, and computer
programmers).
- Executive and Technical Committee members of the Northeast Agricul-
tural Experiment Stations (Regional Research Project NE-58).
- Dr. Ward W. Bauder and his staff at Cornell University for a special
computer output dealing with Florida agricultural workers.
- Roger Rossi of the Unemployment Insurance Service, U.S. Department
of Labor.
- Florida industry and labor representatives and the Florida Farm Labor
Research Advisory Council.
- George Stubbs, John O'Hara, and Lee Ponder of the Florida Bureau of
Unemployment Compensation.
- Florida Farm Labor Office.
- Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
- Ralph Eastwood, W. W. McPherson, and M. L. Upchurch for comments
on an earlier draft of this report.






CONTENTS

Page
DIGEST .................... .. -............. ...... ....-- ii
PREFACE ................-- ... .....-------------..--------- ..------ iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .............-......- -.---- .....-----------. -...--..-..-.... iv
LIST OF TABLES .................... .... ..- ....... .......... ...... ..... vi

INTRODUCTION ......................... ........ ................-_.. 1
Changing Structure of Florida Agriculture ........................... 1
The Role of Farm Labor in Florida Agriculture ............................ 3
Social Legislation and the Farm Worker.................................. 5
FLORIDA FARM LABOR SURVEY ................................... ..... 6
Origin and Development of the Survey ............ ............-......-.... 6
Objectives of the Study ............. ................. 7
Methods and Procedures ........................ --.... .. 7
CHARACTERISTICS OF FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL
EMPLOYERS ...............-...... ......... ......... ..... 8
Farm and Nonfarm Agricultural Employers ........................ ........ 8
Type of Ownership ....................... .......... ........ 9
Economic Class of Farm ....... .......................-.- ...... .... 10
Type of Farm ..-......-. ......-..... ...-.......... .. ..- ...... .. ....... 10
Perquisites ........-....-.... ..................... ...... .. .. .. ..-. 11
CHARACTERISTICS OF FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL WORKERS.. 12
Demographic Characteristics .......................-...-...-- 13
Age ............-......-...........- ....-.............--. 13
Sex ... ..................................... ............ ..... ...... .. 13
Marital Status ................. ................ ....... 14
Education ................... .......... ..-- ... ......-. .. ... 15
Migratory Status ....................... .....--....-- ............ 15
Ethnic Groups ......................... ........ ...... .. .... .... ..... 17
Economic Characteristics ..................... .........................- 19
Labor Force Participation .................... --.....--. ....... 19
Perquisites Received ................................ .. ... .. 21
Labor Force Participation and Earnings .................... .... 22
Summary ............................... ...... .......... 24

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE-IMPACT AND FEASIBILITY... 24
The Unemployment Insurance System .................--.. ...........-........ 24
Proposals for Extending Unemployment Insurance to Agriculture. 26
Impact of Alternative Coverage Provisions Upon Florida
Agricultural Employers ............. ----..--- ....-. ...------ --.. -- 27
Farm and Nonfarm Employers ................................... 28
Type of Ownership ...............- ............. .-........... 28
Economic Class of Farm ........................................ 29
Type of Farm ........................ ......-............ 29
Worker Protection and Benefits ............. ....... .. .....-......... 38
Potential Beneficiaries ........... ............................. 38
Actual Beneficiaries ......................... ............- 39
Cost Rates ..... ... ........ .....-.. ............ ...... ................ 41
Limitations of the Analysis ......................... ..... ............. 42








POSSIBLE EFFECTS FROM THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AN
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM IN AGRICULTURE 43
Migration and Unemployment Insurance for
Agricultural Workers ...............-.......-. ...-.... .... 43
Impact of Extending Agricultural Coverage Upon
the Present Florida U.I. System .................................................... 49
Impact Upon Production Costs ........................ .......... ... ..... 50
Impact Upon Labor Usage ........................ ........... 50
Impact Upon M echanization .................................. ..... ................... 50
Interregional and Foreign Competition .............................. 51
Impact on W orker Compensation ........... ................ ................. 52
GLOSSARY ..... .................................. .................. ................. 53
REFERENCES .............. ................ ...................... ..... 55





LIST OF TABLES

Table Page
1 Indices of Florida agricultural production,
1950-1970 (base period, 1957-1959) ....... ............ ...... 1
2 Florida cash farm receipts, five year average data,
1950-54 to 1965-69, annual 1971 .........................-........ 2
3 Number of farms with sales of $2,500 or more reporting
hired and contract agricultural labor in Florida,
1959, 1964, and 1969 .................. .................. .... ......... 4
4 Hired farm labor by type of farm, Florida, 1969 ...................... 5
5 Farm and nonfarm employers of agricultural labor in Florida 9
6 Type of ownership of firms employing agricultural
workers in Florida ......... ................. ......................... .. 10
7 Economic class of farms of agricultural employers in Florida.. 11
8 Type of farm of agricultural employers in Florida ................ 11
9 Number of Florida agricultural employers providing
perquisites and the number of workers receiving
perquisites ............................................................. ................ ........ 12
10 Age and sex distribution of Florida agricultural workers........ 14
11 Marital status of farm workers, Florida .......................... 15
12 Educational level of workers, Florida ..................................... 16
13 Migratory status of workers, Florida ...................................... 16
14 Agricultural workers by ethnic group, Florida .......................... 17
15 Labor force participation, Florida ....................... ...... .......... 19
16 Perquisites received by farm workers, Florida ........................ 21
17 Labor force participation and earnings of farm workers,
Florida ............................................. ........... 23
18 Effect of selected alternative coverage provisions upon farm
and nonfarm agricultural employers in Florida ................. 30
19 Type of ownership and selected alternative coverage
provisions in Florida ............ .....................- 32
20 Economic class of farm and selected alternative
coverage provisions in Florida .................................. .... 33







21 Type of farm and selected alternative coverage
provisions in Florida ..........-... ...... .....------... 34
22 Florida farm workers by employment status
during analysis year ............................ ---.... ------ 39
23 Earnings and employment of potential and
nonbeneficiaries, by migratory status,
Florida (full coverage) ...............-..-...... 40
24 Actual beneficiaries by selected characteristics,
Florida (full coverage) .......... ....---. .. ....- .... 41
25 Earnings and employment of actual beneficiaries,
Florida (full coverage) .......... .-- ..-- 42
26 Benefit cost rates and added cost rates for
Florida agricultural work, present
Florida employer coverage provision ..................-............ 42
27 Reduced migration and the added cost of unemployment
insurance, Florida ......... ....... ...... ............ ..---------- -- 47
28 Work reduction and income loss per person, Florida .................. 48
29 Comparison of agricultural and present nonagricultural
coverage in Florida, assuming 1 in 20 or $1500
employer coverage provision .............-.....-.. ........... 49
30 Average payroll and estimated unemployment insurance
taxes for new and experienced employers,
by type of farm, Florida ....... ..... ....-----....-----51
















4






INTRODUCTION
Changing Structure of Florida Agriculture
Florida agriculture is extremely diverse and is undergoing
continued change over time. Both physical output and the cash
value of farm receipts have increased dramatically in the past
20 years. Crop production in 1970 was 46 per cent above the
1957-59 level, while livestock production in 1970 was 70 per cent
larger than the 1957-59 base period. Increases in physical output
over the past two decades were particularly noteworthy for soy-
beans, sugarcane, and poultry (Table 1). While crop produc-
tion still accounts for the larger share of total output, the
livestock component is increasing at a somewhat faster rate.
The index of agricultural production increased approximately
50 per cent in the past decade; cash farm receipts increased
roughly 60 per cent during the same period. Total cash farm
receipts for crops and livestock increased by nearly 300 per
cent over the past 20 years. The rate of increase in cash farm
receipts for livestock and its products was more pronounced than
the rate of increase of receipts from crops. This was similar
to the index of volume of output. In 1971 cash receipts from
crops exceeded $1 billion, compared with total receipts of $411
million from livestock (Table 2).

Table 1. Indices of Florida agricultural production, 1950-1970
(base period, 1957-1959).

Year

Commodity 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970

Total crop and livestock 72 104 105 125 153
Total crops 77 113 105 122 146
Citrus 70 102 102 99 155
Vegetables 88 133 108 139 112
Sugarcane 79 79 106 373 395
Tobacco 98 134 130 115 110
Peanuts 124 125 112 168 213
Soybeans 14 72 90 213 541
Total livestock 58 83 107 132 170
Meat animals 66 97 98 116 125
Whole milk 52 77 114 121 143
Poultry 50 68 111 187 308

Source: Adapted from [7].









Table 2. Florida cash farm receipts, five year average data, 1950-54 to 1965-69, annual 1971.


Period
Commodity 1950-54 1955-59 1960-64 1965-69 1971


Total crops
and livestock
Total crops
Oranges
Grapefruit
Truck crops
Sugarcane
t Tobacco
Soybeans
Other
Total livestock
Cattle & calves
Hogs
Eggs
Chickens and
broilers
Dairy products
Others


million $ % million $ %

526.8 692.9
401.9 76.3 514.5 74.3
141.0 26.8 213.9 30.9
37.0 7.0 40.6 5.9
126.2 24.0 146.8 21.2
11.0 2.1 10.4 1.5
21.6 4.1 21.0 3.0
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
65.1 12.4 81.8 11.8
124.8 23.7 178.4 25.7
35.3 6.7 56.2 8.1
15.8 3.0 13.6 2.0
15.6 3.0 23.6 3.4


8.4 1.2
71.1 10.3
5.5 0.8


million $ % million $ % million $ %

876.6 1,135.6 1,421.9
661.7 75.5 819.8 72.2 1,011.1 71.1
273.7 31.2 275.2 24.2 333.6 23.5
49.5 5.6 65.3 5.8 106.8 7.5
169.7 19.4 238.0 21.0 275.0 19.3
25.5 2.9 52.4 4.6 68.6 4.8
27.0 3.0 29.4 2.6 26.8 1.9
n.a. n.a. 7.0 0.6 13.3 0.9
116.3 13.3 152.5 13.4 187.0 13.2
214.9 24.5 315.8 27.8 410.8 28.9
67.3 7.7 110.4 9.7 163.9 11.5
11.3 1.3 15.5 1.4 17.3 1.2
37.7 4.3 60.8 5.4 56.4 4.0


7.0 0.8 15.1
86.8 9.9 107.1
4.8 0.5 6.9


1.3 24.6
9.4 141.2
0.6 7.4


Source: Adapted from [8], various issues.






The above trends in the index of output and in cash farm
sales have some obvious implications for the hired agricultural
work force, even if the question of unemployment insurance is
set aside. The increase in livestock production (relative to crop
production) suggests a gradual shift in the relative contribution
of hired labor to the total value of agricultural production since
livestock production is less labor intensive.
In accord with national trends, the number of Florida farms
has declined in recent years. However, the number of farms
with sales of $2,500 or more has increased from 17,735 in 1964
to 20,096 in 1969; this is an increase of 13.3 per cent between
1964 and 1969.1 Although total farm acreage decreased 9.0 per
cent between 1964 and 1969, acreage of farms with sales greater
than $2,500 decreased only 2.6 per cent. Harvested cropland
acreage, however, increased 1.4 per cent for all farms and 9.2
per cent for the commercial farms with sales in excess of $2,500.
Farms with sales of less than $2,500 accounted for a
negligible percentage of Florida's total farm receipts-1.8
per cent in 1964 and 1.3 per cent in 1969. There were 4,050
Florida farms with sales of $40,000 or more; these farms
represented 85 per cent of total sales in 1969, but only 21.5 per
cent of the farms with sales in excess of $2,500. Farms with
gross sales of $100,000 or more accounted for 10.5 per cent of
farms with sales in excess of $2,500 and 73.3 per cent of total
sales.
I Individual and family farms represented almost 80 per cent
f Florida farms with sales of $2,500 or more. Partnerships and
corporations with 10 or fewer stockholders accounted for 20.2
er cent of the total number, while corporations with more than
0 stockholders represented less than one per cent of Florida's
commercial farms.


The Role of Farm Labor in Florida Agriculture

There is considerable seasonality in the utilization of agri-
cultural labor in Florida in terms of regions and certain com-
modities, such as mixed vegetables, sugarcane, and citrus [6, pp.
4-6].2 Harvest mechanization has not yet appeared in sufficient
magnitude to diminish the role of manual harvesting operations
1 This and the following description of Florida's farms includes both
employers and nonemployers of agricultural labor as estimated by the
Census of Agriculture.
2 Numbers in brackets refer to References.






for the more important crops of fresh market tomatoes,
oranges, grapefruit, sugarcane, and tobacco, as well as some
of the less important commodities such as strawberries. Also,
it is believed that the increase in agricultural production over
the past two decades has required increases in physical agricul-
tural labor requirements, even though certain labor-saving
technologies have been introduced throughout Florida agricul-
ture.
According to the U.S. Census of Agriculture, farms with
sales of at least $2,500 and employing farm workers numbered
12,618 in Florida during 1969. This represented a decrease from
the 16,004 farms reporting hired workers in 1959 (Table 3). Of
the 12,618 employers in 1969, 3,738 or 29.6 per cent were
estimated to have expended less than $500 for agricultural labor
for the entire year and another 3,743 farms expended between
$500 and $2,499 for agricultural labor. Thus, 5,037 commercial
farms were reported by the U.S. Census to have expenditures
for agricultural labor in excess of $2,500 per farm. The general
trend shows a reduction in the number of farms employing agri-
cultural labor, along with a somewhat higher concentration of
payroll among the farms of larger farm sales. Historical data
are unavailable, but contract agricultural labor accounted for
over one-third of estimated payroll in 1969.
Of the 12,618 "commercial" farms reporting hired farm
labor in the 1969 Agricultural Census, fruit and nut farms

Table 3.-Number of farms with sales of $2,500 or more reporting hired
and contract agricultural labor in Florida, 1959, 1964, and 1969.

Type of Agricultural Number of
Labor and Year Farms Reporting Payroll

million $
Contract labor
1969 5,445 96.6
1964 n.a. n.a.
1959 n.a. n.a.

Hired labor
1969 12,618 170.8
1964 13,158 151.9
1959 16,004 109.9

n.a. = not available
Source: [11, p. 4].






accounted for almost 30 per cent of the farm employers. It was
determined by the Census that 10,423 laborers on fruit and nut
farms worked for 150 or more days in 1969, while 28,072
workers were employed for less than 150 days (Table 4). Table
4 also provides the data for other farm types in Florida.
In the future Florida's agricultural labor force may be affected
by harvest mechanization, biological and other mechanical
innovations, urbanization, continued and gradual shift toward
livestock and related products, the relative importance of the
labor contractor, and possible state and federal legislation affect-
ing employers and workers.

Table 4.-Hired farm labor by type of farm, Florida, 1969.

Number of farms Number of workers
Number of farms
with sales of 150 days Less than
Type of Farm $2,500 or more or more % 150 days %

Total 12,618 42,804 100.0 120,941 100.0
Cash grain 427 605 1.4 2,124 1.8
Tobacco 780 1,548 3.7 16,288 13.5
Cotton 19 13 0.0 115 0.1
Other field crops 457 4,234 9.9 7,633 6.3
Vegetables 932 7,704 18.0 28,149 23.3
Fruit and nut 3,675 10,423 24.4 28,072 23.2
Poultry 656 1,838 4.3 4,150 3.4
Dairy 495 3,681 8.6 2,578 2.1
Other livestock 1,627 692 1.6 7,267 6.0
Livestock ranches 1,443 1,901 4.4 5,652 4.7
General 689 419 1.0 5,022 4.2
Miscellaneous 1,418 9,710 22.7 13,891 11.5

Source: [11, pp. 134-135].

Social Legislation and the Farm Worker

The general purpose of this report is to provide informa-
tion and analysis of selected employer coverage criteria which
might be considered in legislation covering unemployment in-
surance for agricultural workers. Social legislation has already
been extended to eligible agricultural workers for social security
and minimum wage benefits under federal statute and for work-
men's compensation under Florida law. Other state and federal
programs offer a wide variety of aid and services for the
agricultural laborer and/or employer, e.g., Occupational Safety
and Health Act of 1970, Florida Migrant Health Project in 13






counties, and the Labor Contractor's Registration Act. Unem-
ployment insurance and collective bargaining, however, continue
to be the major items without federal legislation pertaining to
agricultural labor.
While unemployment insurance is a form of social legisla-
lation, it is not primarily a welfare or aid program based on an
individual needs test. Unemployment insurance is designed as a
wage related program to compensate eligible workers of covered
employers for part of their earnings loss resulting from involun-
tary unemployment. Unemployment compensation benefits to
workers are limited in both duration and amount and are based
upon actual work history with covered employers. Benefit
payments are also paid only for weeks of compensable un-
employment. That is, an otherwise eligible unemployed worker
must be willing, able, and seeking employment in order to
qualify for unemployment compensation benefits.


FLORIDA FARM LABOR SURVEY

Origin and Development of the Survey

The Florida Farm Labor Survey was initiated in August
of 1970 by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the
University of Florida as an integral part of Regional Research
Project NE-58 of the Northeast Agricultural Experiment Sta-
tions. The inclusion of Florida and Texas into the regional labor
project was due primarily to the fact that Florida and Texas are
large employers of agricultural labor and because the migratory
nature of interstate workers often involved migration into and/
or out of Florida and Texas.3
The Florida Farm Labor Survey involved two interrelated
field surveys-one of agricultural employers and the other of
agricultural workers. The principal objective of the survey work
was to carefully examine the impact of introducing unemploy-
ment insurance to agriculture in Florida.4

3 For a more detailed discussion of the origins of the survey, see [6, pp.
10-12].
4 Since the added cost of extracting other economic and sociodemographic
data from agricultural workers was minor relative to the necessary ques-
tions, the worker questionnaire, in particular, was expanded to yield addi-
tional descriptive data not having a direct bearing upon the question of
unemployment insurance. Some of these socioeconomic data of Florida agri-
cultural workers will be the source of future reports.






Objectives of the Study


The intent of this report is as follows:
1. Describe Florida agricultural employers by type of employer
(farm and nonfarm), type of ownership, economic class of
farm, type of farm, and perquisites supplied;
2. Describe Florida agricultural workers by selected charac-
teristics, such as age, sex, marital status, educational level,
migratory status, ethnic groups, labor force participation,
perquisites received, and earnings;
3. Determine the impact of unemployment insurance upon
agricultural employers as influenced by type of employer,
type of ownership, economic class of farm, and type of farm;
4. Determine the impact of unemployment insurance on agricul-
tural workers as influenced by selected factors, such as migra-
tory status and ethnic groups;
5. Estimate cost rates for selected employer coverage provi-
sions; and
6. Discuss possible effects of the implementation of an unem-
ployment insurance program upon migration of workers,
production costs, mechanization, interregional competition,
labor usage, and worker compensation.

Methods and Procedures
The Florida Farm Labor Survey was conducted on a state-
wide basis, utilizing random sampling techniques designed to es-
timate populations of agricultural employees and workers. A
stratified random sample of approximately 2,200 agricultural em-
ployers was surveyed via a mailed questionnaire in the Fall of
1970. The employer rate was 43 percent overall, but considerably
higher for the employers with larger numbers of employees.
Personal interviews of over 2,500 randomly selected agricultural
workers were conducted in the period November 1970 to Feb-
ruary 1971. The worker sampling rate was related to the size
of the sample employer's labor force. That is, all workers were
interviewed on the sample farms with seven or fewer workers,
while 10 per cent or at least two workers were interviewed on
farms with more than seven agricultural workers. A special
random sampling scheme was devised for selecting workers on
multiple enterprise and/or multiple location farms [6, pp. 13-19].
As distinguished from the U.S. Census of Agriculture
which attempts to count all Florida farms and employers of






farm labor, the Florida Farm Labor Survey was restricted to
estimates of agricultural employers who employ agricultural
workers and provide annual and/or quarterly reports regarding
their hired workers to the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Hence, the Florida Farm Labor Survey's estimates of the num-
ber of farm employers and workers are expected to be below
the figure shown by the Census of Agriculture for the same
period. On the other hand, the Farm Labor Survey was designed
to insure a very high degree of reliability of the agricultural
payroll in Florida. This was because of the study's emphasis
upon estimating employers' contributions to the unemployment
insurance fund. These contributions are in turn directly re-
lated to covered payroll. Hence, the Florida Farm Labor Sur-
vey provides reasonably accurate estimates of employers and
workers who account for the bulk of the agricultural payroll.
However, the Florida survey excludes and/or underestimates the
relatively large number of small farm operators who employ
only occasional farm workers.
Although the interview period of November through Feb-
ruary is the peak demand for the major components of Florida
agriculture such as citrus and vegetables, this is not the case
for north Florida. However, this would result at most in an
understatement of seasonal labor estimates for north Florida.
For the purposes of studying the impact of unemployment in-
surance, this will have a minimal effect as long as the workers
can be expected to be similar to those sampled in other parts
of the state.

CHARACTERISTICS OF FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EMPLOYERS

Farm and Nonfarm Agricultural Employers

While farm operators account for 88 per cent of the num-
ber of agricultural employers and 86 per cent of the aggregate
agricultural payroll, labor contractors and other nonfarm agri-
cultural employers hire and pay wages directly to 35 per cent
of Florida's agricultural wage items.5 The Florida Farm Labor
Survey estimate of 5,289 employers (Table 5) compares favor-
ably with the U.S. Census estimate of 5,037 commercial farms
having an agricultural payroll in excess of $2,500 (page 6 of
this report). The average annual payroll of a farm employer
5 Wage item estimates may represent a duplicated count of workers,
since a given worker may have been employed and reported by several
employers.






Table 5.-Farm and nonfarm employers of agricultural labor in Florida.
Avg.
nmbr.
of
Average sea-
Average number sonal
gross of wage wage
Covered payroll items items
Number of gross per per per
Type of employer employers payroll employer emp. emp.
million $ $
All employers 5,289 242.4 45,822 65 54
Farm employers 4,639 207.6 44,755 48 38
Labor contractors 457 24.2 52,900 227 209
Other nonfarm employers 193 10.6 54,707 78 66


was $44,755 or slightly below the average annual payroll of
labor contractors and other nonfarm agricultural employers.
The average labor force of a labor contractor was over four
times larger than the average number of workers hired by
farm employers. Seasonal workers (or workers who were em-
ployed for less than 150 days) represented a sizeable share of
the hired labor force for all types of employers. For example,
farm employers reported an average of 38 seasonal workers
(wage items) out of an average of 48 workers in 1969 (Table
5), and labor contractors reported that 90 per cent of their
wage items were seasonal in 1969.

Type of Ownership

Contrary to some popular opinions, employers of Florida's
agricultural workers are primarily individual and family farms
and/or small corporations. Less than 2 per cent of the agri-
cultural employers in Florida are corporations with more than
10 stockholders. The 83 corporations with more than 10 stock-
holders (which include incorporated agricultural cooperatives)
account for 17 per cent of the total agricultural payroll. There
is a sharp contrast between the average payroll and average
labor force for the individual-family farms and the large "agri-
business" corporations. As one would expect, corporations with
more than 10 stockholders have approximately 10 times as
many regular and seasonal workers with corresponding average
payrolls more than 10 times as large as individual-family farms
(Table 6).





Table 6.-Type of ownership of firms employing agricultural workers in Florida.

Avg.
nmbr.
of
Average sea-
Average number sonal
gross of wage wage
Number Covered payroll items items
of gross per per per
Type of ownership employers payroll employer emp. emp.
million $ $
Individual, family,
partnership, and
corporations with
10 or fewer stock-
holders 5,194 201.2 38,735 57 48
Corporations with
more than 10
stockholders 83 41.1 492,716 554 430



Economic Class of Farm

Farm employers with gross sales of $40,000 or more in
1969 accounted for 52 per cent of all farm employers and 91
per cent of total farm payroll. The average payroll for Class
I farms was $78,429, compared with a payroll of $8,506 for the
average of farms in Classes II, III, and IV. There was also a
striking difference in the average number of wage items be-
tween Class I and the smaller farm (Table 7).


Type of Farm

Considerable variation in average payroll and the average
regular and seasonal work force was exhibited over the 10 types
of farms identified in Table 8. Average payroll per employer
ranged from $101,082 for other field crops (which includes
sugarcane farms)6 to $12,594 for livestock farms. However, the
average vegetable farm employed 135 wage items in 1969, of
which 118 represented seasonal workers (Table 8).
Both Tables 7 and 8 present data for farms which pay
their workers directly and thus these tables omit the payroll
of labor contractors and other nonfarm employers. Since the
bulk of the $34.8 million payroll of the various nonfarm em-

6 Since foreign contract workers would not likely be eligible for unemploy-
ment insurance benefits, no estimates of worker numbers and payroll of
foreign agricultural employees were included in the survey results.





Table 7.-Economic class of farms of agricultural employers in Florida.

Average
number
of
Average Average seasonal
gross number wage
Number Covered payroll of wage items
Economic class of gross per items per per
of farmst employers payroll employer employer emp.
million $ $
Class I 2,406 188.7 78,429 83 65
Classes II,
III, and IV 2,222 18.9 8,506 11 9

tEconomic class was based on the total value of sales of agricultural
products reported for 1969.
Class I $40,000 or more Class III $10,000 19,999
Class II- $20,000 39,999 Class IV-- Less than $10,000
but more than $2,500


Table 8.-Type of farm of agricultural employers in Florida.

Average
number Average
Average of number of
gross wage seasonal
Covered payroll items wage items
Number of gross per per per
Type of farm employers payroll employer employer employer
million $ $
Cash grain 69 4.3 62,265 56 26
Tobacco 220 6.5 29,572 60 54
Other field crops 241 24.4 101,082 57 33
Vegetables 293 27.3 93,141 135 118
Fruit and nut 1,491 76.2 51,098 71 59
Poultry 246 3.9 15,966 13 9
Dairy 271 13.6 50,411 25 12
Livestock 735 9.3 12,594 10 7
General 293 11.8 40,154 37 28
Miscellaneous 780 30.4 39,928 27 16


players is believed to be expended on fruit and vegetable farms,
Table 8 underestimates the total payroll for these activities.


Perquisites

Housing is one of the major perquisites provided agricul-
tural workers by agricultural employers. Approximately 8,468






Table 9.-Number of Florida agricultural employers providing perquisites
and the number of workers receiving perquisites.t

Number of workers receiving
Number of
employers Regular Seasonal
Perquisite providing workerstt workerstt
Housing 1,654 8,468 12,094
Meals 352 900 2,378
Bonus 11 463 68
Insurance 35 570 197
Sick leave 1 140 20
Paid vacation 36 246 20
Other 806 5,019 50,985

fWorkers reported by employers. See Table 16 for similar data as re-
ported by workers.
ttThe estimates of workers or wage items may represent a duplicated
count of some individuals since a given worker may have been employed
and reported by several employers.

regular workers and 12,094 seasonal workers were reported
by employers as having received housing in 1969. A relatively
small percentage of agricultural workers received meals, bo-
nuses, insurance, sick leave, and paid vacations (Table 9).


CHARACTERISTICS OF FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL WORKERS

Extensive descriptive data were collected on Florida farm
workers in addition to the data immediately needed to deter-
mine the cost of the extension of unemployment insurance
coverage to agriculture. The population of farm workers as
estimated at the time of interview during the period of No-
vember 1970 to February 1971 was 66,778. As a first compari-
son of this number, the 1970 Census of Population [10] reports
60,747 persons classified as "farm laborers and foremen" who
were at least 16 years of age.
The material presented in this section is only a brief intro-
duction to the available data which will be available in a later
publication, but it summarizes some of the more important
demographic information. This demographic information is an
essential component of necessary data for the consideration
of policies affecting agricultural labor. It is often useful to
know the characteristics of workers in order to predict possible
impacts of policies on particular segments of the labor force.






For example, one may be interested in how alternative criteria
for inclusion in a particular program would affect the propor-
tion of black workers included. Comparisons are also made with
other segments of the population or the U.S. farm labor force
when there are significant differences.


Demographic Characteristics

Age
Agricultural workers in Florida are rather evenly distri-
buted over five-year age groups from age 16 through 60, as
shown in Table 10. Roughly 10 per cent are included in each
five-year group. This should be contrasted with the U.S. farm
labor force, which is considerably more skewed to the younger
age groups. Over half of the U.S. farm labor force, 55 per cent
[9, p. 10], were under 25 years of age in comparison to 21
per cent of the Florida farm labor force.

Sex
The Florida farm labor force was composed of 70 per cent
male workers and 30 per cent female (Table 10). The age dis-
tribution varies somewhat between the sexes with relatively
fewer women in the 30-39 age group than for'men. In com-
parison with the U.S. farm labor force, there were relatively
more women in Florida, 30 per cent in comparison to 24 per
cent in the U.S. [10, p. 10].
The 1970 Florida labor force was made up of 38 per cent
female workers [10]. The 1970 Census of Population also in-
dicates there were 18,302 female farm laborers and foremen in
Florida, a very close comparison with our estimate of 19,660
[10]. The relative proportion is 30 per cent, the same as shown
in Table 10. The similarity of the estimates from the Farm
Labor Survey with the Census of Population tends to support
the finding that there are relatively more women employed in
agriculture in Florida than is the case for the total U.S. hired
farm labor force.
As one might expect, the distribution changes considerably
if an adjustment is made for the degree of participation in the
labor force. A labor force participant is defined for purposes
of this report as a person who is working with or without
wages, self-employed, looking for work, traveling to a new job
wanting work although not looking, or not working as a result






Table 10.-Age and sex distribution of Florida agricultural workers.t

Number of workers Percentage of workers
Age Male Female Total Male Female Total

Under 16 124 127 251 .3 .6 .4
16 19 4,297 2,486 6,783 9.3 12.6 10.3
20 24 4,317 2,175 6,493 9.4 11.1 9.9
25 -29 4,118 2,564 6,682 9.0 13.0 10.2
30 -34 4,523 1,538 6,062 9.8 7.8 9.2
35 39 5,113 1,241 6,354 11.1 6.3 9.7
40 44 6,004 3,080 9,084 13.1 15.7 13.8
45 49 3,577 2,058 5,636 7.8 10.5 8.6
50 54 4,146 2,066 6,212 9.0 10.5 9.5
55 59 3,643 1,876 5,520 7.9 9.5 8.4
60 64 3,527 280 3,807 7.7 1.4 5.8
65 -69 1,577 96 1,674 3.4 .5 2.6
70 or over 922 67 1,060 2.2 .3 1.6
Total 45,964 19,660 65,624 70.0 30.0 100.0

tThe estimates are based on workers at the time of interview. Estimates
of total workers will differ among tables due to different inclusions of workers
and missing data for particular characteristics of some workers. Columns and
rows of this and succeeding tables may not add to the totals due to the
truncations of estimates.


of bad weather. After separating workers into those who were
labor force participants during each of the 52 weeks and those
who were nonparticipants for some of the weeks,7 only 23 per
cent of the full-time participants were women. Eighty-two per
cent of the male participants were participants over all 52 weeks
in comparison to 56 per cent of the female participants. Thus,
the female segment of the labor force is considerably more
seasonal than the male segment.


Marital Status

Somewhat more than half of the Florida farm labor force
are married and living with their spouses; this is true of 56
per cent, as shown in Table 11. There is some variation between
the sexes, but not a considerable amount.8

7 Nonparticipant categories include retirement, vacation, school, sick
or injured, and housekeeping.
8 The null hypothesis that the sex and marital status classifications
(married vs. single) are independent is rejected at the 1 per cent level
by the Chi Square test. See [2, Ch. 5] for a discussion of this test.






Table 11.-Marital status of farm workers, Florida.t

Male Female Total
Marital status Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent

Married 25,882 56.3 10,855 55.2 36,737 56.0
Single 20,080 43.7 8,816 44.8 38,898 44.0
Widowedtt 2,014 10.0 1,870 21.2 3,885 13.4
Divorcedtt 2,304 11.5 930 10.5 3,235 11.2
Separatedtt 4,119 20.5 2,475 28.1 6,594 22.8
Never marriedtt 11,643 58.0 3,541 40.2 15,184 52.5

tPopulation at time of interview.
ttThe percentages are taken as percentages of single persons.


Education

The educational level of agricultural workers is skewed
toward minimal education in comparison to the general popula-
tion of Florida. As shown in Table 12, 60 per cent of the workers
had an eighth grade education or less, while four per cent had
no formal education. By comparison, 2 per cent of the Florida
general population9 had no formal education and only 28 per
cent had an eighth grade education or less [10]. There are
considerable differences in the educational levels among ethnic
groups.


Migratory Status

Although the majority of workers did not migrate for work,
29 per cent of the workers reported that they had crossed
county lines for work during the previous year (Table 13).
Most workers who migrated for work went to another state
rather than just to another county in Florida. The migratory
workers in Table 13 are separated into those who migrated
only within Florida, and those who crossed state lines for work.
The former group, intrastate workers, represented only 3.5
per cent of the workers, whereas interstate workers amounted
to 25.5 per cent of all workers. Intrastate workers will be de-
fined throughout the remainder of this section as those work-
ers who worked only in Florida, irrespective of whether they
9 This includes the Florida population 25 years or over.






Table 12.-Education level of workers, Florida.t

Years of school completed
13 and
Type of worker 0 1-4 5-8 9--12 over
All workers 2,849 12,038 24,830 24,398 2,628
(4.3) (18.0) (37.2) (36.6) (3.9)
Ethnic group
White 237 2,382 8,073 9,223 2,069
(1.1) (10.8) (36.7) (42.0) (9.4)
Black 2,046 7,516 12,941 14,391 521
(5.5) (20.1) (34.6) (38.5) (1.4)
Puerto Rican 358 793 693 182 0
(17.7) (39.1) (34.2) (9.0) 0
Mexican 188 958 2,647 456 12
(4.4) (22.5) (62.1) (10.7) (0.3)
Other 20 389 477 146 27
(1.9) (36.8) (45.1) (13.8) (2.5)
Migratory status
Interstate 635 3,277 7,541 5,842 85
(3.7) (18.9) (43.4) (33.6) (0.5)
Intrastateft 2,214 8,761 17,294 18,590 2,543
(4.5) (17.7) (35.0) (37.6) (5.1)


tNumbers in parentheses are percentages.
ttThis includes all workers who worked only within
whether or not they migrated within the state.


Florida, irrespective of


worked in one or more locations within the state. Most of the
intrastate workers, so defined, worked in only one location
(Table 13).
Some variation between the sexes exists for those who are
migrants. Fewer female workers are migratory workers, but
the difference is not as much as one might expect. Differences
between interstate and intrastate workers in educational levels


Table 13.-Migratory status of workers, Florida.

Non- Intra- Inter- Non- Intra- Inter-
Sex migrant state state migrant state state
Number Per cent
All workers 46,536 2,302 16,759 70.9 3.5 25.5
Male 31,894 1,464 12,568 69.4 3.2 27.4
Female 14,642 839 4,191 74.4 4.3 21.3







are shown in Table 12. Again, there are differences in the two
groups, with the distribution being relatively skewed toward
the lower educational levels for the interstate workers. Those
with no more than an eighth grade educational level represented
66 per cent of the interstate workers in comparison to 57 per
cent of the intrastate workers.

Ethnic Groups

The workers were categorized into four distinct ethnic
groups: white, black, Puerto Rican, and Mexican. The relative
numbers found in each are shown in Table 14. The largest
proportion of the worker population was found to be black,
representing 56 per cent of all workers. The white group was
the only other major component, representing 33 per cent of all
workers. By comparison, the general population of Florida is
categorized as 84 per cent white and 15 per cent black [10].
The labor force of Florida, similar to the general population, is
75 per cent white and 15 per cent nonwhite [10]. The Florida
agricultural worker population also differs from the U.S. agri-
cultural worker population in this characteristic: 78 per cent


Table 14.-Agricultural workers by ethnic group, Florida.t

Puerto
Worker category White Black Rican Mexican Other
All workers 21,594 36,710 2,026 4,209 1,057
(32.9) (56.0) (3.1) (6.4) (1.6)

Sextt
Male 16,634 24,382 1,790 2,748 369
(36.2) (53.1) (3.9) (6.0) (0.8)
Female 4,960 12,328 236 1,461 688
(25.2) (62.7) (1.2) (7.4) (3.5)

Migratory status***
Intrastate workers**** 15,214 23,578 1,020 1,484 893
(36.1) (55.9) (2.4) (3.5) (2.1)
Interstate workers 2,118 8,464 906 2,395 100
(15.1) (60.5) (6.5) (17.1) (0.7)

tNumbers in parentheses are percentages.
ttlncludes all survey workers.
***Includes only workers reporting weeks of farm work.
****Intrastate workers may or may not have migrated within the state. As
shown in Table 13, few workers migrate within the state only.






of the latter group were white and 22 per cent nonwhite [9, p.
10]. Thus, not only is the nonwhite worker over represented in
the Florida farm worker population by contrast to the general
Florida population, but also by comparison to the U.S. agri-
cultural hired labor force.
When the workers are grouped by sex, it is seen that fe-
males are more likely to be black than are males. In the female
group 63 per cent were black, whereas 53 per cent of the males
were black.
The ethnic group distribution varies somewhat with migra-
tory status. Again, blacks accounted for the largest proportion
of interstate workers, 60 per cent of the group. The major
difference in composition is that over half of the Mexican
workers were interstate workers, representing 17 per cent of
the interstate migratory workers. As a result, those categorized
in the white group represented only 15 per cent of the interstate
migrants.
The educational level varies significantly among ethnic
groups.'As shown in Table 12, the white group had by far the
most years of education. All other groups were skewed to fewer
years relative to the white group. The Puerto Rican group, al-
though not a major component of the work force, had by far
the least number of years of education. The following are the
percentages of the groups who had four years or less of formal
education:

Per cent with four years
Group education or less
White 12
Black 26
Puerto Rican 57
Mexican 27
Other 39

These differences are far greater than differences in educational
level by migatory status.
It is interesting to note that these percentages differ from
those of the general Florida population. For example, 22 per
cent of the workers in this survey had four or less years of
education, in comparison to 6 per cent of the general population.
As indicated above, 12 per cent of the white group had four
years or fewer, compared with 4 per cent of the general popu-
lation white group in this category. In the nonwhite group, 27
per cent had four years or fewer of education in comparison
to 21 per cent for the nonwhite general population [10]. In







each case, the farm worker is at the lower end of the educa-
tional level in comparison to the general population. However,
the relative difference between the nonwhite farm workers and
the general population is not as great as for the white workers.

Economic Characteristics

Labor Force Participation
The workers were also separated into two groups depend-
ing upon their degree of labor force participation all year
or part of the year (Table 15). A worker was classified as a
participant for the entire year if he responded that he was
either employed, self-employed, looking for work, wanting work,
traveling to a new job, or not working due to bad weather
during each of the 52 weeks. He was classified as a part-year
participant if he satisfied one of the above criteria for at least
one week and had at least one week of retirement, vacation,
school, illness, housekeeping, or some other activity not directly
associated with employment.

Table 15.-Labor force participation, Florida.t

All year Part of year
Worker group Total Male Female Total Male Female

All workers 41,726 32,269 9,457 14,488 6,946 7,542
(74.2) (82.3) (55.6) (25.8) (17.7) (44.4)
Ethnic group
White 13,732 11,997 1,734 3,600 1,527 2,071
(79.2) (88.7) (45.5) (20.8) (11.3) (54.5)
Black 22,954 16,563 6,391 9,088 4,480 4,607
(71.6) (78.7) (58.1) (28.4) (21.3) (41.9)
Puerto Rican 1,621 1,427 192 305 262 43
(84.2) (84.4) (81.4) (15.8) (15.6) (18.6)
Mexican 2,756 2,009 746 1,122 564 557
(71.1) (78.1) (57.2) (28.9) (21.9) (42.8)
Other 642 250 391 350 89 261
(64.7) (73.3) (60.0) (35.3) (26.7) (40.0)
Migratory status
Nonmigrant 29,160 22,427 6,732 10,717 4,634 6,081
(73.1) (82.9) (52.5) (26.9) (17.1) (47.4)
Migrant 12,528 9,802 2,723 3,770 2,310 1,458
(76.8) (80.9) (65.1) (23.1) (19.1) (34.8)

tNumbers in parentheses are percentages.






Those who were participating during the entire 52 weeks
represented 74 per cent of the workers with at least one week
of farm work, and 26 per cent were out of the labor force at
least one week. This level of participation indicates a particu-
larly high degree of attachment to the labor force for the farm
workers.'0 When the workers are separated into various groups,
the largest differentiation is between the sexes. The degree of
participation of males is considerably higher, as expected 82
per cent were participants all year in comparison to 56 per cent
of the females.
The participation rates across ethnic groups are remarkably
similar." The Puerto Rican group stands out with 84 per cent
being participants during the entire year. One is initially led
to infer that the difference is accounted for by the larger
proportion of males in the Puerto Rican group. However, 81
per cent of the female Puerto Ricans were all-year participants.
Indeed, if one compares the proportion of those who were all-
year participants by sex among ethnic groups, it becomes clear
that there are substantial differences among the ethnic groups
in terms of their participation. For example, 72 per cent of
the blacks were all-year participants, in comparison with the
average of 74 per cent. Since the ratio of women to men of
blacks is larger than the average, one is initially led to infer
that this is the reason for lower participation, since women
generally participate less than men. Again, this is only partially
correct. The data reveal that fewer black men are all-year par-
ticipants and relatively more black women are all-year partici-
pants. The ethnic group breakdown thus reveals more variation
among groups than is indicated by a casual inspection of the
data.
The migratory workers show slightly more attachment to
the labor force than the nonmigrants: 77 per cent were all-year
participants in comparison to 73 per cent of the nonmigrants.
If one can draw any inference from this, it is that seasonal
labor is more common within the local work force than among
the migratory workers. Again, there are- important differences
between the sexes. Among males, 83 per cent of the nonmigrants
were all-year participants in comparison to 81 per cent of the
"Note that the population is estimated at the point of interview. An
alternative procedure would be to estimate the population that had done
any work in agriculture during the year. Such a procedure would give a
lower proportion of persons participating all 52 weeks.
"However, the null hypothesis that the ethnic and participation class-
fications are independent is rejected at the 1 per cent level by the Chi
Square test.






migrants. Among females, the reverse was true: 52 per cent of
the nonmigrants were all-year participants, whereas 65 per
cent of the migrants were in this category. This major dif-
ference in the females apparently accounts for the higher per-
centage of all-year participants for the migratory group.


Perquisites Received

Workers frequently receive nonmonetary remunerations
from their employers in addition to the direct monetary pay-
ments. Such perquisites for the nonfarm worker typically are
in the form of retirement plans, health insurance, stock options,
or a variety of other benefits. The farm worker perquisites are
generally of a quite different nature, typically consisting of
housing, meals, transportation, or some form of more basic
consumption.

Table 16.-Perquisites received by farm workers, Florida.t

All workers Intrastate workers Interstate workers
Perquisites Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent

All farm workers
No perquisites 20,916 37.9 18,421 44.1 2,494 18.6
Some perquisites 34,327 62.1 23,378 55.9 10,949 81.4
Housing 17,541 31.8 9,147 21.9 8,392 62.4
Meals 1,950 3.5 979 2.3 969 7.2
Transportation 26,341 47.7 17,999 43.1 8,342 62.0
Other 1,886 3.4 1,303 3.1 583 4.3

All-year participants
No perquisites 15,549 38.1 13,670 45.1 1,879 17.8
Some perquisites 25,272 61.9 16,629 54.9 8,643 82.1
Housing 14,289 35.0 7,590 25.0 6,699 63.7
Meals 1,579 3.9 782 2.6 797 7.6
Transportation 18,654 45.7 11,957 39.5 6,697 63.6
Other 1,767 4.3 1,225 4.0 542 5.2

Part-year participants
No perquisites 5,366 37.2 4,751 41.3 615 21.1
Some perquisites 9,054 62.8 6,749 58.7 2,305 78.9
Housing 3,249 22.5 1,557 13.5 1,692 57.9
Meals 369 2.6 197 1.7 172 5.9
Transportation 7,686 53.3 6,041 52.5 1,645 56.3
Other 117 0.8 77 0.7 40 1.4

tSimilar information as reported by employers is given in Table 9.






The perquisites received by farm workers in Florida are
summarized in Table 16. Sixty-two per cent of the farm workers
received some perquisites during the year, leaving 38 per cent
who received none. The two most common perquisites were
housing and transportation, which were received by 32 per cent
and 48 per cent of the farm workers, respectively. Only four
per cent received meals, and three per cent received other forms
of perquisites.
Relatively more interstate workers received perquisites
than was the case for intrastate workers, 81 per cent in com-
parison to 56 per cent. The largest difference is in housing;
62 per cent of the interstate workers received housing in com-
parison to 22 per cent of the intrastate workers. Interstate
workers were also more likely to have received transportation,
62 per cent versus 43 per cent of the intrastate workers.
The workers are also separated into their respective labor
force participation classes in Table 16. One might expect more
all-year participants than part-year participants to receive per-
quisites. However, there appears to be little difference between
the two groups. Any real difference may be obscured by the
criterion for classification into the perquisite categories: receipt
of the perquisite during at least one week of the year. The only
apparent difference in the two groups is that relatively fewer
part-year participants received housing and relatively more
received transportation.


Labor Force Participation and Earnings

One of the important economic facts describing workers is
their earnings. The average annual hired earnings of farm work-
ers in Florida were $3,764 from farm and nonfarm work (Table
17). Although a few of the workers had some self-employment
earnings, $3,764 is for all practical purposes their average in-
come. They worked an average of 46.5 weeks to earn this income.
The remaining 5.5 weeks were separated into four weeks out of
the labor force and 1.5 weeks of labor force unemployment.12
The average earnings of Florida agricultural workers are
considerably different than for U.S. farm workers. The U.S.
hired farm labor force of 1970 was reported to have average
annual wages of $1,640 with 127 days of work [9, p. 15]. There
"Recall that labor force unemployment is defined as the worker looking
for work, wanting work, traveling to a new job, or not working due to bad
weather. All other types of unemployment are classified as out of the labor
force.






Table 17.-Labor force participation and earnings of farm workers, Florida.
Average
Average Average Average weeks weeks out
hired weeks labor force of labor
Worker group Workers earnings of work unemployment force

Persons with
farm work 56,216 3,764 46.5 1.6 4.0
Labor force
participation of
farm workers
All year 41,726 4,178 50.3 1.7 0.0
Part year 14,488 2,571 35.5 1.1 15.5

Farm vs.
nonfarm work
Farm work
only 45,937 3,728 46.5 1.4 4.1
Farm and non-
farm work 10,274 3,926 46.3 2.0 3.6
Nonfarm
work only- 6,689 4,311 43.5 1.6 6.8

tThese are workers who were working for a farm employer at the time
of interview but had no farm employment during the analysis period.
is no reliable way of converting weeks to days since the number
of days worked per week is unknown. However, the important
difference to note is that the earnings of U.S. workers are less
than half the earnings reported here for the Florida workers.
The average hired earnings vary considerably by degree
of labor force participation. Those who were participants all
year had average earnings of $4,178 in comparison to $2,571
for the part-year participants. The part-year participants worked
an average of 35.5 weeks, but had only 1.1 week of labor force
unemployment. These workers were out of the labor force an
average of 15.5 weeks.
Nonfarm workers tend to earn more than farm workers.
The major portion of farm workers, 82 per cent, reported no
nonfarm work. The farm work only group reported average
earnings of $3,728, with the same average number of weeks
worked as for all farm workers: 46.5. Workers with both farm
and nonfarm work had slightly higher earnings of $3,926. Work-
ers with nonfarm work only had earnings of $4,311, although
they worked fewer weeks: 43.5. This group also reported an
average of 6.8 weeks out of the labor force. This relationship






of earnings among the different groups is characteristic of the
U.S. farm labor force also [9, p. 15].

Summary
The Florida hired farm labor force has been found to be
similar in many ways to the U.S. hired farm labor force. Some
of the findings were expected but others were unexpected. As
was commonly known, the hired farm labor force is composed
mainly of minority groups; only 31 per cent were categorized
at white. The major component was black workers, representing
over half of the hired farm workers. The educational level of
the workers was found to be substantially lower than is the case
for the general population.
The worker population had annual earnings averaging $3,-
764, substantially less than for the general labor force. However,
this is significantly larger than the estimate reported for the
U.S. hired farm labor force. The degree of attachment to the
labor force was also found to be higher than is commonly be-
lieved; agricultural workers were employed an average of 46.5
weeks. Migratory workers were also found to have more attach-
ment to the labor force than those who did not migrate for
work. As shown above, 77 per cent of the migratory workers
were all-year participants, whereas 73 per cent of the non-
migratory workers were all-year participants.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE IMPACT AND FEASIBILITY
The Unemployment Insurance System
The unemployment insurance system collects taxes on pay-
rolls while persons are employed and pays out benefits to eligible
workers who become involuntarily unemployed through no fault
of their own. The system is a federal-state cooperative one.
Basic coverage and taxing provisions are shaped by federal
law, but states are free to go beyond federal standards. Federal
law has little to say about the payment of benefits to unemployed
persons, and a bewildering array of practices are in effect in the
various states. Nevertheless, there are many common features
of the benefit provisions among the states.
The present unemployment insurance (U.I.) program was
established in the United States in 1935 to provide income loss
protection to workers who become unemployed through no fault
of their own. Technically, the coverage provisions of state unem-
ployment insurance laws determine the employers who are
liable for contributions, and the benefit provisions determine






the workers who accrue eligibility rights under the laws. Cover-
age is generally defined in terms of the employing unit's pay-
roll or the number of weeks with a minimal number of employees
during a calendar year, the contractual relationship of the work-
ers to the employer, and the place and type of work done by the
employees. While the system is compulsory and broadly based,
it excludes agricultural and certain other groups of workers in
both the federal and the Florida state laws. The coverage pro-
visions of state laws, however, are influenced by the taxing
provisions of the Social Security Act, now the Federal Unem-
ployment Tax Act. Employers who pay contributions under an
approved state unemployment insurance act may credit their
state tax against the federal tax, up to a specific limit. Federal
law may also require, as a condition for approval of the state
law, that certain services excluded from federal coverage under
the Federal Unemployment Tax Act be covered under state
law, e.g., services performed for state institutions of higher
education. Federal law also establishes minimum criteria for
the size of a firm which is liable for contributions. The present
federal definition of covered employers involves a quarterly
payroll of at least $1500 in the calendar year or preceding cal-
endar year, or at least one worker who worked at least 20 weeks.
While income protection for workers during periods of
involuntary unemployment is the primary objective of a federal-
state unemployment insurance system, the U.I. program also
serves to stabilize the economy, maintain a permanent work
force for employers, encourage employers to stabilize their em-
ployment practices, and make it possible for workers to pre-
serve their skills by having time to search for a job which uses
their skills.
In Florida, employer coverage provisions are essentially
identical with federal minimum requirements, i.e., employers
with at least a $1500 quarterly payroll or at least one worker
in at least 20 weeks are required to provide U.I. protection for
their workers, unless specifically excepted. Employers of agri-
cultural workers in Florida are presently among the diminish-
ing number of employer groups excluded from both state and
federal coverage provisions. Beginning with January of 1972
newly covered employers are required to contribute 1 per cent
of their taxable payroll to the state fund and 0.5 per cent for ad-
ministrative and other purposes. Assuming three years of "ex-
perience" under the program, an employer's state tax rate is
adjusted between 0 and 4.5 per cent of taxable payroll, exclud-
ing the 0.5 per cent administrative tax. Taxable payroll is de-






fined as the annual payroll of an individual worker not exceeding
$4,200. Thus, a newly covered employer is required to contribute
a maximum of $42 per employee in U.I. taxes, excluding the
administrative tax, while "experienced" employers with the
worst possible "experience rating" are required to annually
contribute a maximum of $189 per worker, excluding a maxi-
mum administrative tax of $21. The minimum total tax for an
"experienced" employer with a "perfect" experience rating would
be /2 per cent of taxable payroll or a maximum of $21.12
In 1971 the cost rate in Florida for all covered employers
averaged 0.92 per cent of taxable payroll, exclusive of the ad-
ministrative tax. That is, benefit payments to eligible and un-
employed workers required slightly less than 1 per cent of
taxable payroll [5, p. 19]. The cost rate varied considerably
depending upon the industry grouping. For the Finance, Insur-
ance, and Real Estate industries, the cost rate was 0.50 per
cent, while the cost rate was 1.66 per cent for all manufacturing,
6.45 per cent for citrus processing, and 7.97 per cent for citrus
packing [5, pp. 20-21].
Eligibility for worker U.I. benefits in Florida requires at
least 20 weeks of employment at an average rate of pay of $20
or more., For an eligible claimant, weekly benefits are com-
puted to be half of his average weekly wage in the base period.
The minimum weekly benefit amount for total unemployment is
$10 per week for 10 weeks up to a maximum of $74 and 26 weeks
for total unemployment.'3

Proposals for Extending Unemployment
Insurance to Agriculture

The most serious attempt to include federal unemployment
insurance provisions for agricultural employers occurred in the
Employment Security Amendments of 1970. The Administra-
tion proposed that the coverage criterion for agricultural em-
ployers be at least four or more workers for at least 20 calendar
weeks. While this proposal was rejected by the House, the Senate
unanimously passed an alternative proposal to cover employers
with eight or more workers for at least 26 weeks. The Senate
version, however, failed to become law, since the Joint House-
"For 1972, however, even covered employers in Florida with "perfect"
experience ratings were required to pay a minimum tax of 0.07 per cent
of taxable payroll, plus the 0.5 per cent administrative tax.
13The maximum duration for receiving benefits was extended in 1971
to 39 weeks for periods of high rates of unemployment when many workers
cannot find a job and have exhausted their initial benefits.






Senate Conference Committee postponed action until additional
research dealing with farm coverage was undertaken. This
report is a partial response to that Congressional mandate for
additional research and information.
Even without federal law, individual states may require
agricultural coverage. Most recently, Minnesota passed legisla-
tion in 1973 for mandatory coverage of agricultural employers
with four or more workers in 20 or more weeks. Hawaii enacted
mandatory coverage in 1959 to cover relatively large agricul-
tural employers. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico provides
unemployment insurance protection for its sugarcane workers.
Our northern neighbor, Canada, provides coverage for agricul-
ture, excluding certain temporary workers.
States are reluctant to adopt mandatory legislation unless
other states follow suit. One major reason why individual states
have not extended coverage to agricultural labor, assuming the
absence of federal coverage, involves the problem of interstate
or interregional competition. Since unemployment insurance
increases the employers' cost of conducting business, state law
embracing agriculture may serve to weaken rather than
strengthen the competitive position of a state's agricultural
economy. This same problem of interregional competition origi-
nally blocked individual state action to cover industrial workers
before the federal unemployment insurance law was enacted in
1935.
Even without specific federal and state U.I. legislation,
employers may "elect" to provide unemployment insurance for
their agricultural workers. Relatively few agricultural employers
in Florida and elsewhere are on this "free election" basis. The
largest contingent of farm employers voluntarily electing cover-
age is in California. This is largely due to provisions contained
in collective bargaining agreements requiring unemployment
insurance protection for workers covered by the agreement. It
is believed that a large percentage of the labor contracts in
California agriculture involve the provision of unemployment
insurance as a fringe benefit. It can be argued that U.I. within
the framework of a collective bargaining agreement stabilizes
the labor force and results in reduced costs of recruitment and
turnover.

Impact of Alternative Coverage Provisions
Upon Florida Agricultural Employers

If unemployment insurance is extended to agriculture, it is






highly likely that the employer coverage criteria will differ
from the prevailing nonagricultural provisions of at least one
worker for 20 weeks or a quarterly payroll of $1500. This ex-
pected distinction in agricultural coverage is due primarily to
the administrative difficulties of collecting U.I. taxes from
small employers in agriculture.
Although data were developed for over 100 employer cover-
age provisions, only the following five alternative provisions
are reported here: one worker in 20 weeks or $1500 high quar-
terly payroll-the current Florida provision; four workers in
20 weeks-the Administration's 1969 proposal; eight workers
in 26 weeks-the version passed by the U.S. Senate in 1970;
four workers in 20 weeks or $5000 quarterly payroll-a slight
variation of the 1969 Administrative proposal; and 15 workers
in 52 weeks-an unlikely legislative proposal but an alternative
that includes the relatively large and nonseasonal agricultural
employers.

Farm and Nonfarm Employers
Adoption of the current employer coverage provisions of
at least one worker employed for at least 20 weeks or a $1500
payroll would virtually require all farm and nonfarm employers
to provide U.I. protection for their workers. As one moves from
the 1 in 20 or $1500 provision to the 15 in 52 provision in Table
18, the number of employers covered drops markedly for farm
employers and declines to zero for labor contractors. Table 18
provides evidence that the 321 farm employers in Florida with
at least 15 workers the year around also employ approximately
1/2 of the wage items. As is generally known, labor contractors
do not employ workers on a year around basis. It is somewhat
interesting to note, however, that 290 labor contractors in Flor-
ida would be covered under the eight workers in 26 weeks rule
and that this criterion would cover approximately 70 per cent
of the wage items of these employers. Other nonfarm employers,
such as cooperative marketing associations involved with har-
vesting operations, are relatively less seasonal than the labor
contractors, since the 8 in 26 provision covers about 95 per cent
of the wage items (Table 18).

Type of Ownership
Table 19 presents the sharp contrast for the selected cover-
age criteria between the individual and family farm/small






corporations and the corporations with more than 10 stock-
holders. While the 1 in 20 or $1500 provision would essentially
cover both groups of ownership equally, the adoption of the
4 in 20 provision, for example, would cover approximately
of the family/small corporation employers but all of the cor-
porate agricultural employers with more than 10 stockholders.
In terms of wage items, the 4 in 20 provision would cover %
of the regular and seasonal wage items of the individual, family/
small corporate farms, while, of course, covering all wage items
for the corporations with more than 10 stockholders (Table 19).

Economic Class of Farm
In the four coverage criteria-1 in 20 or $1500 quarterly,
4 in 20 or $5000 quarterly, 4 in 20, and 8 in 26-all would cover
roughly 90 per cent or more of the wage items of farms with
sales of at least $40,000 in a calendar year, i.e., Class I farms.
However, less than half of the Class I employers would be
covered under a provision of at least eight workers employed
at least 26 weeks. As one would expect, average gross payroll
of Class I employers rises as one moves from the 1 in 20 or
$1500 provision to the 15 in 52 provision or from $79,497 to
$349,179 (Table 20).
While the 1 in 20 or $1500 provision would cover the bulk
of the farm employers with sales of less than $40,000 in a cal-
endar year, less than 20 per cent of the Class II, III, and IV em-
ployers considered as a group would be covered under the 4 in
20 or $5000 provision. Moreover, less than 3 per cent of the em-
ployers with sales of less than $40,000 would be covered with the
adoption of the 8 in 26 coverage provision. Also, roughly 50 per
cent of the wage items of these relatively small farms would be
covered under the 4 in 20 provision; the move to the 8 in 26
provision would decrease the affected wage items to about 30
per cent of the total for Economic Classes II, III, and IV (Table
20).

Type of Farm
There are considerable differences of the probable impact
of a U.I. program among the 10 major types of farming in Flor-
ida, except for the 1 in 20 or $1500 provision. The application
of Florida's current coverage provision of one worker in 20
weeks or $1500 high quarterly payroll is tantamount to univer-
sal coverage for both farm employers and workers. Table 21
provides the number of employers, average gross payroll, and








Table 18.-Effect of selected alternative coverage provisions upon farm and nonfarm agricultural employers in Florida.


Average
number of
Average Average seasonal Per cent of
Type of gross wage items Per cent of wage items seasonal
employer and Number of payroll per per wage items per wage items
coverage provision employers employer employer covered employer covered
workers/weeks $


All employers
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr.
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr.
co 4 in 20
8 in 26
15 in 52

Farm employers
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr.
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr.
4 in 20
8 in 26
15 in 52


5,116
2,712
2,494
1,468
328


4,485
2,184
1,992
1,113
321


47,337
84,732
88,997
135,845
340,320


46,253
89,584
95,857
153,704
344,362


99.7
95.5
87.4
79.0
31.9


99.6
93.3
91.7
82.0
48.7


99.6
95.8
86.8
78.8
30.5


99.5
93.3
91.6
82.5
49.1










Table 18.-Effect of selected alternative coverage provisions upon farm and nonfarm agricultural employers in Florida-Continued.

Average
number of
Average Average seasonal Per cent of
Type of gross wage items Per cent of wage items seasonal
employer and Number of payroll per per wage items per wage items
coverage provision employers employer employer covered employer covered
workers/weeks $


Labor contractors
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr.
co 4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr.
4 in 20
8 in 26
15 in 52

Other nonfarm employers
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr.
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr.
4 in 20
8 in 26
15 in 52


53,851
55,187
51,030
64,492
0


57,983
110,166
110,166
148,398
160,000


99.9
99.9
76.3
69.7
0.0


99.9
99.9
76.6
70.1
0.0


99.9
98.1
98.1
95.2
2.6







Table 19.-Type of ownership and selected alternative coverage provisions in Florida.


Average
number of
Average Average seasonal Per cent of
Type of gross wage items Per cent of wage items seasonal
employer and Number of payroll per per wage items per wage items
coverage provision employers employer employer covered employer covered
workers/weeks $


Individual, family,
partnership, and
corporation with 10
or fewer stockholders
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr.
^ 4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr.
4 in 20
8 in 26
15 in 52

Corporations with more
than 10 stockholders
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr.
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr.
4 in 20
8 in 26
15 in 52


5,022
2,618
2,399
1,384
292


40,036
72,073
65,791
114,333
264,830



492,716
492,716
492,716
492,716
955,996


99.6
95.2
84.8
75.8
24.3



100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
73.4


100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
74.9







Table 20.-Economic class of farm and selected alternative coverage provisions in Florida.

Average
number of
Average Average seasonal Per cent of
Economic class gross wage items Per cent of wage items seasonal
of farmt and Number of payroll per per wage items per wage items
coverage provision employers employer employer covered employer covered
workers/weeks $
Class I
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr. 2,373 79,497 84 99.8 66 99.8
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr. 1,754 104,601 112 98.1 88 98.3
4 in 20 1,651 109,143 117 96.9 92 97.0
8 in 26 1,046 157,706 169 88.5 134 89.2
15 in 52 314 349,179 345 54.3 275 55.0

Classes II, III, and IV
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr. 2,101 8,916 12 97.7 9 97.0
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr. 430 28,307 32 54.9 24 53.2
4 in 20 341 31,466 36 49.5 27 47.4
8 in 26 66 90,833 112 30.0 82 28.1
15 in 52 7 138,142 117 3.3 38 1.4
tSee page 29.







Table 21.-Type of farm and selected alternative coverage provisions in Florida.


Average
number of
Average Average seasonal Per cent of
gross wage items Per cent of wage items seasonal
Type of farm and Number of payroll per per wage items per wage items
coverage provision employers employer employer covered employer covered
workers/weeks $
Cash grain
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr. 69 62,265 56 100.0 26 100.0
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr. 22 183,753 162 93.1 72 88.7
4 in 20 22 183,753 162 93.1 72 88.7
o 8 in 26 22 183,753 162 93.1 72 88.7
15 in 52 4 478,548 473 45.2 434 88.7
Tobacco
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr. 220 29,572 60 100.0 54 100.0
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr. 120 49,756 91 83.8 82 83.6
4 in 20 98 57,391 110 82.2 98 82.0
8 in 26 62 82,690 151 71.8 138 73.0
15 in 52 10 181,207 367 28.4 344 29.6
Other field crops
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr. 241 101,082 57 100.0 33 100.0
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr. 186 129,293 73 98.3 42 97.9
4 in 20 186 129,293 73 98.3 42 97.9
8 in 26 117 191,090 105 89.0 58 84.8
15 in 52 27 536,653 192 37.4 88 29.4







Table 21.-Type of farm and selected alternative coverage provisions in Florida-Continued.

Average
number of
Average Average seasonal Per cent of
gross wage items Per cent of wage items seasonal
Type of farm and Number of payroll per per wage items per wage items
coverage provision employers employer employer covered employer covered
workers/weeks $
Vegetables
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr. 293 93,141 135 100.0 118 100.0
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr. 180 147,156 214 97.4 187 97.5
4 in 20 146 171,366 254 93.8 221 93.6
8 in 26 72 316,458 453 82.1 390 81.1
15 in 52 26 736,731 1,121 73.5 971 73.0

Fruit and nut
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr. 1,425 53,425 74 99.7 62 99.7
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr. 608 118,573 168 96.8 142 97.5
4 in 20 540 131,013 187 96.2 158 97.0
8 in 26 308 211,281 304 88.7 258 90.1
15 in 52 94 458,714 550 48.9 462 49.0

Poultry
1 In 20 or $1500 Qtr. 235 16,666 14 99.0 9 98.5
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr. 72 42,404 32 69.7 20 67.5
4 in 20 72 42,404 32 69.7 20 67.5
8 in 26 25 101,457 75 58.0 48 57.2
15 in 52 11 212,296 130 45.3 76 40.4








Table 21.-Type of farm and selected alternative coverage provisions in Florida-Continued.

Average
number of
Average Average wage items Per cent of
gross wage items Per cent of seasonal seasonal
Type of farm and Number of payroll per per wage items per wage items
coverage provision employers employer employer covered employer covered
workers/weeks $


Dairy
1 in 20
4 in 20
4
co 8
15


or $1500 Qtr.
or $5000 Qtr.
in 20
in 26
in 52


Livestock
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr.
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr.
4 in 20
8 in 26
15 in 52


General
1 in 20 or
4 in 20 or
4 in
8 in
15 in


50,411
65,153
65,153
107,501
169,496


13,321
45,097
50,703
157,759
425,298


41,625
55,064
57,434
85,211
167,991


$1500 Qtr.
$5000 Qtr.
20
26
52


100.0
93.0
93.0
78.1
52.5


94.7
53.6
45.4
33.7
19.0


98.6
89.6
86.3
68.9
11.9


100.0
89.4
89.4
74.6
54.4


93.0
49.5
40.6
32.8
18.2


98.1
87.4
83.0
68.7
7.7








Table 21.-Type of farm and selected alternative coverage provisions in Florida-Continued.

Average
number of
Average Average seasonal Per cent of
gross wage items Per cent of wage items seasonal
Type of farm and Number of payroll per per wage items per wage items
coverage provision employers employer employer covered employer covered
workers/weeks $
Miscellaneous
1 in 20 or $1500 Qtr. 758 40,022 27 99.6 17 99.3
4 in 20 or $5000 Qtr. 429 65,943 43 90.0 26 87.8
4 in 20 418 67,530 44 88.6 26 85.5
8 in 26 276 92,366 58 76.6 36 76.6
15 in 52 90 186,132 114 50.0 71 50.3






average wage items per employer for the five alternative cover-
age criteria for cash grain, tobacco, other field crops (includes
sugarcane), vegetables, fruit and nut, poultry, dairy, livestock,
general, and miscellaneous farms. A glimpse at the alternative
of at least 15 workers in 52 weeks reveals some interesting data
regarding the concentration (or lack thereof) of wage items
among relatively few employers. For example, although the 15
in 52 provision accounts for a meager percentage of farm em-
ployers for all 10 types of farming, this provision would "cover"
roughly 50 per cent or more of the wage items in the vegetable,
fruit and nut, dairy, and miscellaneous industries. On the other
hand, less than 30 per cent of the wage items in the tobacco,
livestock, and general agricultural industries would be covered
by this somewhat unrealistic provision. As expected, average pay-
roll per employer increases rather sharply as one moves from
the 1 in 20 or $1500 provision to the 15 in 52 provision (Table
21).

Worker Protection and Benefits
On the basis of the Florida field survey of workers con-
ducted in the November 1970 through February 1971 period,
the population of agricultural workers was estimated to be 66,-
778. There were 64,568 who reported complete information on
items pertaining to the remainder of this section. In order to
conform to a common historical period for the regional analysis,
an "analysis year" of July 1969 through June 1970 was used in
determining worker protection and beneficiary status. Thus, it
was found that 2,731 of the 64,568 workers were not in the labor
force during the analysis year, while 6,593 workers reported
nonagricultural work only during the analysis period. Of the
55,243 workers reporting agricultural work during the analysis
year, 41,799 or 75.7 per cent did not cross state lines to engage
in employment (Table 22).

Potential Beneficiaries

Of the 55,243 workers reporting agricultural work in the
analysis year, 52,738 or 95.5 per cent were potential benefici-
aries of unemployment insurance, assuming full coverage. That
is, 95.5 per cent of Florida's agricultural workers were employed
at least 20 weeks for an average weekly wage of $20 or more.
There was very little difference between interstate and intra-
state potential beneficiaries in terms of average weeks of em-






Table 22.-Florida farm workers by employment status during analysis
year.t

Number
Employment status of workers

All workers 64,568
No hired work during analysis yeartt 2,731
Nonagricultural work only 6,593
Agricultural workers 55,243
All intrastate agricultural workers 41,799
Intrastate hired agricultural work only 35,903
All interstate agricultural workers 13,443
Interstate hired agricultural work only 9,308

tThe estimates are based on workers at the time of interview. Estimates
of total workers will differ among tables due to different inclusions of workers
and missing data for particular characteristics of some workers. Columns and
rows of this and succeeding tables may not add to the totals due to the
truncation of estimates.
ttThe analysis year is the period July 1969 through June 1970.

ployment, average earnings, average potential weekly benefit
amount, and average potential duration of benefits (Table 23).


Actual Beneficiaries

Actual beneficiaries are persons who are potential bene-
ficiaries having at least one period of compensable unemploy-
ment in the record year. In order to receive unemployment insur-
ance benefits, however, a worker must be involuntarily unem-
ployed through no fault of his own and be ready, able, and
willing to work at a job comparable to his previous position.
For purposes of this study, however, all weeks of unemployment
were assumed to be compensable except for weeks of paid va-
cation, school attendance, and sickness or injury.
Of the 52,738 potential beneficiaries with agricultural work
experience in the analysis year, 16,130 or 30.6 per cent were
actually eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits,
assuming full coverage. A somewhat higher percentage of inter-
state potential beneficiaries (37.9 per cent) become actual bene-
ficiaries, compared with intrastate potential beneficiaries (28.2
per cent). Women are also more likely to become actual bene-
ficiaries than men. While women account for only 30 per cent
of the agricultural work force, they contributed over half of






Table 23.-Earnings and employment of potential and nonbeneficiaries,
by migratory status, Florida (full coverage).

Only Interstate All
intrastate hired agricultural
work work workers

All agricultural workers (41,799) (13,443) (55,243)
Per cent of all agricultural
workers 75.7 24.3 100.0
Average weeks of work 45.8 47.6 46.3
Average earnings per week
of work $82.3 $80.9 $82.0
Potential beneficiaries (39,578) (13,160) (52,738)
Per cent of all agricultural
workers 71.6 23.8 95.5
Average weeks of work 47.5 48.1 47.6
Average earnings per week
of work $83.0 $81.2 $82.5
Average weekly entitlement $37.9 $38.8 $38.1
Average duration of
entitlement 23.8 24.1 23.9
Nonbeneficiaries (2,221) (282) (2,504)
Per cent of all agricultural
workers 4.0 0.5 4.5
Average weeks of work 16.3 21.7t 16.9
Average earnings per week
of work $50.7 $53.9t $51.2

tThis result may be explained by an example. Assume two workers, one
working for 40 weeks at $15 per week and the other for two weeks at $100
per week. Average weeks of work would be 21 weeks and average weekly
earnings would be $57.50 but neither one would be potential beneficiaries.


the actual beneficiaries. There was only slight variation in inci-
dence of actual beneficiaries in terms of the age groups reported
in Table 24, except that a higher percentage of workers in the
16 to 19 age group were eligible for actual benefits, as compared
with other groups. There was, however, a pronounced variation
in the incidence of actual beneficiaries based upon ethnic group-
ing. Black agricultural workers are twice as likely to become
actual beneficiaries compared with white agricultural workers.
And black interstate (migrant) workers are more likely to be-
come actual beneficiaries compared with intrastate black work-
ers. Puerto Rican workers, surprisingly, tend to demonstrate a
relatively low rate of actual beneficiaries (Table 24).
Table 25 presents the average earnings and unemployment
situation for the actual beneficiaries under full coverage. The
average actual beneficiary is estimated to have worked 39 weeks
at an average salary of $70.30 per week. His entitlement to un-







employment insurance benefits is estimated to be $34.70 of
weekly benefits for an average duration of 9.5 weeks.

Cost Rates
One of the more commonly used measures of financial
feasibility of the extension of unemployment insurance to ex-
cluded groups is the dollar cost of .benefits paid in relation to
taxable payroll. The resulting computation produces a percent-
age figure that is generally known as the benefit cost rate.
The benefit cost rate estimated on the basis of agricultural
work only in Florida, as determined by the Florida Farm Labor
Survey, is essentially constant for the alternative employer
coverage provisions, or slightly less than 3.0. The benefit cost
rate increases to slightly over 3.0 if all agricultural work per-
formed in Florida (but reported by the 14 states in the regional
project) is taken into account. But neither the Florida survey
nor the regional benefit cost estimates exactly measure the


Table 24.-Actual beneficiaries by selected characteristics, Florida (full
coverage).

In labor force
Type of All farm -----
beneficiary workers All year Part year Intrastate Interstate

All workers 16,130 5,521 10,608 11,144 4,985
Age Group
16-19 2,329 1,103 1,222 1,534 794
20-29 .2,629 841 1,778 1,639 990
30-39 3,160 1,360 1,798 2,270 889
40-49 3,831 1,210 2,619 2,510 1,321
50-59 2,732 791 1,939 1,949 782
60 and over 1,441 204 1,232 1,236 203
Sex
Male 7,594 2,830 4,762 4,434 3,159
Female 8,536 2,689 5,845 6,710 1,826
Ethnic Group
White 3,377 869 2,506 2,800 576
Black 11,080 4,239 6,839 7,609 3,471
Puerto Rican 328 136 190 148 180
Mexican 997 263 733 240 757
Other 326 10 316 326 0






Table 25.-Earnings and employment of actual beneficiaries, Florida (full
coverage).

Actual
Item beneficiaries

Number 16,130
Weeks of hired work 39.0
Weekly earnings per person ($) 70.3
Weekly benefit amount ($) 34.7
Average duration of benefits (weeks) 9.5


costs of "adding" U.I. protection to agricultural workers. This is
because the benefit cost estimates above exclude benefits of
workers who were ineligible on the basis of agricultural or non-
agricultural work separately, but who were eligible for benefits
by combining agricultural and nonagricultural work. Table 26
presents both the benefit cost rates and the added cost rates
for the provision of covering employers with at least one work-
er for 20 weeks or a $1500 quarterly payroll.
The added cost rate for protecting Florida interstate mi-
grant workers is approximately equal to the cost of protecting
all Florida agricultural workers, or 2.9 for migrants compared
with 2.8 for all workers employed under the 1 in 20 or $1500
provision. As reported by Emerson [4, pp. 24-24], the added cost
rate for migrants decreases as one moves to the less inclusive,
e.g., 8 in 26 provision, whereas the added cost rate remains the
same or increases for all workers taken together.


Limitations of the Analysis

An analysis year was chosen for this study to be consistent
with other states pursuing the same type of analysis. Although

Table 26.-Benefit cost rates and added cost rates for Florida agricultural
work, present Florida employer coverage provision.

Provision: At least 1 worker in 20 or more
weeks or $1500 high quarterly payroll
Benefit cost rate Added cost rate
Florida agricultural work,
Florida Survey 2.77 2.81
Florida agricultural work,
Regional Survey 3.04 3.06






the interviewing took place during November 1970 through Feb-
ruary 1971, the period under analysis was July 1969 through
June 1970. Consequently, the study is based on information re-
ported by workers in some cases 18 months prior to the time of
interview. As a result there may have been some memory bias
[6, pp. 63-66].
Benefits which an eligible unemployed worker may claim are
typically based on a base year which has elapsed prior to the
claim. Since it was impractical to collect information this far
into the past, the base year was the same as the analysis year.
This imposes the assumption that the work histories are repeti-
tive from one year to the next.
Many workers were employed by more than one employer
throughout the year. Employer information was collected only
for the employer at the time of interview. Other employers for
whom the worker had worked were assumed to have been similar
to the survey employer. If they had' worked for smaller employ-
ers during the off-season, this might have an effect on the
results. However, since most Florida employers are large, this
is not expected to have a significant effect on the results.
The analysis also assumes that worker behavior will be the
same as that during the analysis year. However, the worker
will face a different set of incentives after the introduction of
unemployment insurance. For example, once a worker is un-
employed, the cost of remaining unemployed until a job com-
parable to his abilities is found is diminished by his unemploy-
ment insurance benefits. One might expect that his job search
would be extended longer than is now the case. Other workers
who currently work less than the 20 weeks to be eligible for
unemployment insurance benefits, may attempt to increase their
working weeks to 20 in order to claim benefits. No adjustment
for these reactions has been included in the present analysis.
This is a topic for additional research.


POSSIBLE EFFECTS FROM THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AN
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM IN AGRICULTURE

Migration and Unemployment Insurance
for Agricultural Workers15

Estimates were made of the effect on the cost of unemploy-
ment insurance protection for agricultural workers if migratory
workers were to alter their migration by assumed proportions.






Although unemployment insurance is not a welfare program in
the usual sense of the term, transfer payments are given to unem-
ployed persons who meet the eligibility requirements. One major
difference between unemployment insurance benefits and welfare
benefits is that the former has a limited period of benefits,
generally a maximum of 26 weeks in any benefit year under
Florida law, whereas the latter generally has no time limit.
Secondly, there is no needs test to receive unemployment in-
surance benefits as there generally is for welfare benefits. Un-
employment insurance is a wage related program using both
past and current attachment to the labor force to distinguish
between eligible and ineligible workers.
Any program which provides transfer payments to potential
labor force participants is confronted with the question of what
effect such payments may have on the supply of labor. The
basic postulate is generally that leisure time and income are
desired entities. Transfer payment schemes characteristically
alter the potential combinations of leisure time and income,
since the individual is receiving income while he is not working.
The question is whether, given the new set of potential combina-
tions, the worker will choose a different (higher or lower) level
of contribution to the labor force.16 If there is, for example, a
substantial reduction in labor force participation as a result of
such a program, there could be considerable differences in the
cost of the program from the estimated cost, which was based
on reported levels of participation prior to the existence of the
program.
It was assumed that migratory workers would be a group
influenced more easily than others by changes in work incen-
tives. An economic rationale for this is that the marginal earn-
ings of migratory workers from working in other states are
less than for work in the home state. As a result, it could be
argued that the availability of unemployment insurance benefits
would reduce the incentive to migrate to another state for work.
In addition, the employment agreement between employer and

15This section summarizes research done under Contract UIS 72-2 be-
tween the U.S. Department of Labor and the University of Florida. This
work is described in detail in [3, 4].
16The individual faces more constraints with the unemployment insur-
ance program than under a welfare program. For example, he cannot simply
quit a job and collect benefits; he is only eligible if he has become unem-
ployed through no fault of his own. There are several other requirements
he must also meet, thus making it somewhat more difficult for him to adjust
his labor supply and remain eligible for benefits.







migratory worker is typically more casual than is the case for
permanent employees. The migratory worker also has the in-
centive of avoiding the disutility of traveling for extended
periods of time if he can arrange to remain in his home state
and collect benefits during the slack season. If there is suitable
work during this slack season, he would be required to accept
it in lieu of receiving benefits. However, this is still likely to be
a superior situation to the worker, since his risk of no income
during this period is eliminated; if there is no suitable employ-
ment, he will receive unemployment insurance benefits.
In order to determine the possible impact on the cost of
extending unemployment insurance protection to agricultural
workers if migratory workers reduced their migration, the cost
of the program was estimated under the alternative assumptions
that they reduced their interstate employment by 50 to 100 per
cent.17 The workers were assumed to remain in their home
state during the periods when they had previously reported they
were employed. The assumptions are, indeed, artificial, but
they do permit estimates on the cost of the program under ex-
treme conditions; this places an upper bound on the cost with
respect to the relaxation of the original assumption of no change
in migration after the program.
The analysis included 14 states of the 15 state region par-
ticipating in the study discussed in the present report.18 There
were 13,443 interstate migratory workers interviewed in Florida.
They represented 27 per cent of all migratory workers in the 14
state region. However, when the workers from all 14 states were
assigned to a particular state on the basis of the state in which
they had the most weeks of work, 23,729, or 47 per cent of the
migratory workers of the 14 state region, were assigned to
Florida. This result was to be expected, since Florida is gen-
erally considered to be a supply state for the Eastern Seaboard
Migratory Stream.
It is important to note that migratory workers demonstrate
a significant attachment to the labor force; 96 per cent of the
17Several restrictions are placed on the reduction procedure in order
to be compatible with the operation of the unemployment insurance program.
For example, only those workers who met the monetary eligibility require-
ments were adjusted. In addition, only complete jobs could be deleted to
simulate reductions in migration. Deleting part of a job would imply the
worker had quit his job and would thus be ineligible for benefits. See
[3, 4] for a more complete discussion of the reduction procedure and re-
strictions imposed.
IsThe states included were Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.






Florida migratory worker population meet the monetary eligi-
bility requirements for the unemployment insurance program.19
The study also indicated that 36 per cent of the Florida migra-
tory workers had periods of compensable unemployment, in addi-
tion to meeting the monetary eligibility requirements, and thus
would have been actual beneficiaries had the program been in
effect during the analysis period.
As a result of the compatibility restrictions placed on the
reduction procedure, neither the 50 per cent nor 100 per cent
reduction in interstate man-weeks was attained. The effective
reductions for Florida migratory workers were 23 per cent and
84 per cent. The 100 per cent reduction was more closely at-
tained than the 50 per cent reduction, as a result of the relatively
few jobs migratory workers had: 50 per cent had only two dif-
ferent jobs during the 52 week period. As a result, many workers
were not given reductions in the 50 per cent case: eliminating
half of their second job would imply they were quitting.
The effect of the reductions on the cost of extending unem-
ployment insurance to agriculture is shown in Table 27. Actual
benefits increase by 40 per cent, and taxable agricultural earn-
ings decrease by 0.2 per cent under the 50 per cent reduction.
With the 100 per cent reduction, actual benefits increase by 183
per cent and taxable agricultural earnings decrease by 1.6 per
cent. As a result, the cost rate increases from 3.06 per cent to
4.61 per cent and 8.80 per cent for the 50 and 100 per cent re-
ductions, respectively.20
As noted above, such computations place an upper bound
on the cost rate as a result of possible changes in migration, but
they do not indicate what the rate would be under such a pro-
gram. This would depend on the magnitude of the reduction in
migration as determined by the workers' choices. In order to
obtain some understanding of the choice which they might face,
the earnings foregone as a result of the reductions have been
compared to the increased weeks without work. (Table 28).
The workers who were given reductions reported an aver-
age of 48 weeks of employment. Those who were given employ-
ment reductions in the 50 per cent case had an average of 11

19This and succeeding results are based on the employer coverage
criterion of one or more workers in 20 or more weeks or a high quarterly
payroll of at least $1500.

20Since so many of the migratory workers reported Florida work and
were given Florida as a home state, Florida's estimated cost rate increased
more than the average of the 14 states. The latter increased from 2.95 per
cent to 3.79 and 6.15 per cent, respectively.






Table 27.-Reduced migration and the added cost of unemployment insurance,
Florida.t

No 50 per cent 100 per cent
Item reduction reduction reduction

Actual beneficiariestt 16,130 18,810 22,784
(28.5) (33.2) (40.2)
Additional potential benefitsttt 52.01 52.63 53.81
(100.0) (101.2) (103.5)
Additional actual benefitsttt 5.74 8.64 16.25
(100.0) (150.5) (283.1)
Taxable agricultural earningsttt 187.71 187.43 184.70
(100.0) (99.8) (98.4)
Added cost ratettt 3.06 4.61 8.80

tEmployer coverage criterion of one or more workers in 20 or more weeks
or a high quarterly payroll of at least $1500. The items in this table include
only those workers who had agricultural employment during the 52 week period.
All monetary items include earnings and benefits allocated to Florida from
any of the 14 states.
Numbers in parentheses are percentages.
ttThe base is 56,624 workers.
ttfMillion dollars.
ttttAdditional actual benefits taxable agricultural earnings X 100.


weeks deleted, representing 22 per cent of their weeks of em-
ployment. Their resultant loss in income was an average of $489
or 12 per cent of the average income of migratory workers in
the study.21 Those given reductions in the 100 per cent case
were given average reductions of 16 weeks, representing 33
per cent of their employment weeks. Similarly, their resultant
income reduction was $878 or 22 per cent. The question at this
point is how the worker will behave given these options. For
example, will he choose to give up 12 per cent of his income for
11 additional weeks without work or 22 per cent of his income
for 16 additional weeks without work, or any other similar
combination? These are only two of the possible combinations,
of course, but they do indicate the losses which the individual
would face were he to reduce his migration and collect unem-
ployment insurance benefits during periods when he was pre-
viously employed. Given the average income of $3,908, the
foregone earnings appear to be relatively large for an individual

21Included in income are earnings and unemployment insurance bene-
fits which they would receive under the program.






Table 28.-Work reduction and income loss per person, Florida.t

Work reduction
Item 50 per cent 100 per cent

Persons with work reductions 4,470 11,219

Average weeks of employment
prior to reduction 47.6 48.2

Reduction per person (weeks) 10.6 15.7

Reduction per person (per cent) 22.3 32.6

Net loss in income per person ($)tt 489 878

Net loss in income as per cent of
income per personttt 12.5 22.5


tCoverage provision of one or more workers in 20 or more weeks or a
high quarterly payroll of at least $1500.
ttlncome is defined to include earnings plus actual benefits.
tttAverage earnings, average actual benefits, and average income for
migrants were $3,812, $96, and $3,908, respectively.


to remain unemployed when his past experience indicates that he
can obtain employment.
Reduced migration would also have an effect on the amount
of labor available for agriculture during peak seasonal demands.
However, since Florida is a supply state, the reduced migration
assumed in the study would have relatively little effect on the
supply of labor to agriculture in Florida. The estimated reduc-
tion in total man-weeks of agricultural labor was 0.18 per cent
reduction. The states which would be most effected by the re-
ductions are the short duration demand states such as New
Jersey.
The major impact in Florida would be the reservoir of un-
employed workers during the off-season. This could affect the
character of local communities which had large numbers of such
workers. Possibly more local government services such as health,
education, and welfare would be utilized if the migrants were
to become year-around residents of local communities.22 However,
such effects are directly dependent on the number of workers
who actually reduce their migration.

22These effects are considered in more detail in [1, Ch. 5].







Impact of Extending Agricultural Coverage
Upon the Present Florida U.I. System

Extension of unemployment insurance to cover agriculture
will increase the administrative burden of providing services to
covered employers and their workers. Assuming that the present
Florida coverage of 1 in 20 or $1500 high quarterly payroll were
adopted for agriculture, approximately 5,100 employers would
be added to the-system, now totaling 67,193 nonagricultural em-
ployers. Since the cost rate for providing U.I. protection for
agricultural workers is over three times the present rate for
nonagricultural workers, the inclusion of agriculture into the
system would raise the overall Florida cost rate from 0.92 per
cent of taxable wages to slightly over one per cent. Benefits paid
to Florida agricultural workers are estimated to represent ap-
proximately 14 per cent of nonagricultural benefits paid in 1971
(Table 29). And as noted earlier the agricultural cost rate of
approximately 3.1 per cent is considerably above the 1.0 per
cent rate presently required of newly covered employers in
Florida. At least for three years, until experience ratings are
established between 0 and 4.5 per cent of taxable payrolls for
newly covered agricultural employers, the nonagricultural sector
would be subsidizing benefits to agricultural workers.

Table 29.--Comparison of agricultural and present nonagricultural coverage in
Florida, assuming 1 in 20 or $1500 employer coverage provision.

Agricultural
coverage as a
Present (1971) per cent of
nonagricultural Agricultural nonagricultural
Item coverage coverage coverage

Covered employers 67,193 5,116 7.61
Covered taxable payroll $5,377 mil. $224.2 mil. 4.17
Benefits paid $49.4 mil. $6.9 mil.t 13.99
Benefits paid as a
percentage of
taxable payroll 0.92 3.09 335.87

tThis item is estimated by applying the added cost rate obtained from
the workers survey analysis (100 x additional actual benefits taxable
agricultural wages) to the covered taxable payroll as estimated from the
employer survey. Since the covered taxable payroll from the employer survey
was considerably larger than covered taxable wages estimated from the
worker survey, the estimated benefits are correspondingly larger than those
estimated from the worker survey.
Source for nonagricultural data: [5].






Impact Upon Production Costs


Assuming agricultural coverage under the present Florida
employer provision of at least one worker employed at least 20
weeks or $1500 quarterly payroll, newly covered employers would
be required to pay taxes into the system at the rate of 1.5 per
cent of taxable wages, including the 0.5 per cent net federal
tax. The actual tax obligation, however, depends upon the payroll
situation for each individual agricultural firm. Using average
payroll data for the various farm types, it is estimated that the
average newly covered vegetable farm employer, for example,
would pay approximately $1,300 per year to the U.I. system,
while the average newly covered livestock farm employer would
be taxed $185. For "experienced" employers who have partici-
pated in the U.I. system for at least three years, the minimum
tax ranges from $62 per year for the average livestock employer
to a maximum tax of $4,676 for the average employer of "other
field crops" (Table 30).

Impact Upon Labor Usage

While it is clear that universal U.I. coverage would increase
the overall cost of agricultural production, it is not readily ap-
parent to what extent agricultural employers will adjust their
operations to minimize the impact of the U.I. tax. It is quite
likely, however, that agricultural employers will seek to decrease
their use of hired labor, decrease their use of seasonal labor,
possibly increase the use of workers who will not easily qualify
for U.I. benefits (students), increase the utilization of contract
labor, and otherwise conduct personnel activities to minimize
the incidence of benefit claims.

Impact Upon Mechanization

An- obvious offset to increased production costs brought
about by a possible U.I. program is the further adoption of labor-
saving technology in Florida agriculture. Since Florida agricul-
ture still contains extensive hand harvest labor requirements for
sugarcane, citrus, numerous vegetables, and tobacco, the in-
creased costs of the U.I. program could partially trigger a faster
rate of mechanization for these crops. A move in this direction,
while reducing the aggregate level of hired laborers, would
generally upgrade the skill level and alter the mix of types of
workers remaining in agriculture.






Interregional and Foreign Competition
Agricultural producers compete with similar producers in
other regions and countries. Moving the problem of foreign
competition aside for a moment, a U.I. program for agriculture
would have no interregional competitive effects if all agricul-
tural producers in the United States were covered on the same
basis. However, if coverage is not complete or if the agricultural
coverage provisions differ substantially among the states, then
the interregional competitive effects could be real and sub-
stantial. Cost differences between regions (owing in part to dif-
ferences in U.I. program costs) could cause shifts in land use.
Intraregional shifts in land use could also occur; for example, if
large, multiple enterprise employers are relatively more success-
ful in retaining a year-around work force, this would lower their
U.I. cost rate, compared with highly specialized employers of
individual specialty crops, who may be taxed at the maximum
rate.
For some labor intensive commodities facing strong foreign
competition in domestic markets, such as fresh Florida winter
tomatoes, a U.I. tax upon employers, however uniform among


Table 30.-Average payroll and estimated unemployment insurance taxes for
new and experienced employers, by type of farm, Florida.

Tax for
Tax on newly experienced employers
Average covered
taxable employerstt Minimumtt Maximumtt
Type of farm payroll 1.5% 0.5% 5.0%
Dollars
Cash grain 57,844 868 289 2,892
Tobacco 27,344 410 137 1,367
Other field crops 93,530 1,403 468 4,676
Vegetables 86,198 1,293 431 4,310
Fruit and nut 49,476 742 247 2,474
Poultry 15,409 231 77 770
Dairy 46,595 699 233 2,330
Livestock 12,332 185 62 617
General 38,576 579 193 1,929
Miscellaneous 37,076 556 185 1,854

tFor average employer covered under the 1 in 20 or $1500 provision.
ttlncludes the 0.5 percent federal administrative tax.






domestic employers, tends to diminish the competitive position
of Florida producers in relation to foreign (Mexican) producers.
Admittedly, the differential costs caused by the U.I. program
would be only one of several causes of a possible decline in
Florida's competitive position in the fresh winter tomato market.

Impact on Worker Compensation
A final consideration to note is that agricultural workers
may benefit from the extension of unemployment insurance to
agriculture in addition to receiving income during periods of
compensable unemployment. Some of the risk of unemployment
is transferred from the worker to the employer under an unem-
ployment insurance system. In essence, the employer is pur-
chasing an insurance policy to insure against possible lay-offs
in the future. As a result, workers may be willing to accept a
Slower wage from a covered employer than they would otherwise
,accept. Thus, the increased cost to the employer due to the tax
may be offset somewhat by a wage rate lower than it might be
without the unemployment insurance program. Similarly, the
covered employer would be expected to have a comparative
advantage over the noncovered employer in attracting workers.






GLOSSARY


ACTUAL BENEFICIARY-Any person satisfying the monetary un-
employment insurance eligibility requirements and having
weeks of compensable unemployment.

ACTUAL BENEFITS-The benefit amount which an individual
could have withdrawn based on his earnings, employment,
and his weeks of compensable unemployment, assuming an
unemployment insurance program in force during the survey
year.

ADDED COST RATE--The ratio of additional actual benefits result-
ing from agricultural coverage to taxable agricultural
earnings, multiplied by 100.

ANALYSIS YEAR-July 1969 through June 1970.

BENEFIT COST RATE-Actual benefits allocated to agricultural
employment divided by taxable agricultural earnings, multi-
plied by 100.

COMPENSABLE UNEMPLOYMENT-All nonwork categories except
in school, sick or injured, and paid vacation.

COVERED EMPLOYER-Employer meeting at least the minimum
*combination of payroll and number of workers within parti-
cular time periods to be included in the program.

ENTITLEMENT-The benefit amount which an individual could
withdraw from the fund, based on his employment history if
he had a sufficient number of weeks of compensable un-
employment in which to claim benefits.

EXPERIENCE RATING-The tax rate applied in practice to a par-
ticular employer, based upon his employment experience in
addition to the state of the unemployment insurance fund.

FULL COVERAGE-The assumption that every employer is cov-
ered under the unemployment insurance program.

LABOR FORCE PARTICIPANT-Any person working with or without
wages, self-employed, looking for work, traveling to a new
job, wanting work although not working, or not working
as a result of bad weather in any given week.






MIGRATORY WORKER-Any person reporting employment in two
or more states during the analysis year, unless otherwise
stated.

POTENTIAL BENEFICIARY-Any person satisfying the monetary
unemployment insurance benefit eligibility requirements.

SEASONAL WAGE ITEM-Employment of a worker by a given em-
ployer for less than 150 days.

TAXABLE PAYROLL-The first $4200 paid each worker by a given
employer.

WAGE ITEM-Employment of a worker by a given employer for
any period of time.







REFERENCES


[1] Bauder, W. W., J. G. Elterich, J. S. Holt, and S. K. Seaver. Economic
and Social Considerations in Extending Unemployment Insurance
to Agricultural Workers. Regional Report II. Regional Research
Project NE-58, Submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor,
September 30, 1973.
[2] Brownlee, K. A. Statistical Theory and Methodology in Science and
Engineering. 2nd ed., New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1965.
[3] Emerson, Robert D. Migration and the Cost of Unemployment In-
surance Protection for Agricultural Workers. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta.
Bull. 760. October 1973.
[4] Emerson, Robert D. Migration and the Cost of Unemployment In-
surance Protection for Agricultural Workers in Florida. Interim
Report. Gainesville: Food and Resource Economics, University of
Florida, July 1972.
[5] Florida Department of Commerce. 1971 Annual Report. Tallahassee,
1972.
[6] Moses, Galen C., and Leo Polopolus. The Impact of Extending Unem-
ployment Insurance to Agricultural Workers in Florida. Gaines-
ville: Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida,
September 1972.
[7] Spurlock, A. H. Index Numbers of Agricultural Production in Florida,
1924-1968. Ag. Econ. Mimeo EC 70-1. Gainesville: University of
Florida, July 1969.
[8] U.S. Department of Agriculture. Economic Research Service. Farm
Income Situation. Washington, D.C., various issues.
[9] U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. The
Hired Farm Working Force of 1970: A Statistical Report. Agri-
cultural Economic Report No. 201 (by Robert C. McElroy). Wash-
ington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, March 1971.
[10] U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Census of
Population: 1970. General, Social and Economic Characteristics,
Final Report. PC(1)-C11 Florida. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govern-
ment Printing Office, 1972
[11] U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. 1969 Census
of Agriculture, Part 29: Florida. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govern-
ment Printing Office, June 1972.











































S1875 1975

-o









HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






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