Agriculture labour costs grew through 2022

Wednesday, 19 July 2023

Labour costs grew within the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector, as weekly earnings averaged £437 throughout the 12 months of 2022, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics.

The peak earning was reached in December 2022, which saw average weekly earnings of £462. This is an increase of £43 (10%) from January 2022, where earnings sat at £419 per week. Provisional data for the first four months of 2023 (Jan- Apr) sees weekly wages grow further from 2022 during the same time period, up to a high of £476 in March 2023.

Comparing these figures to construction industry, the sector with a similar pool of labour to agriculture, weekly earnings averaged £709 throughout the 12 months of 2022. Peak earnings were reached in March, at £746 per week. There was an increase of £35 (5%) from January to December, and a year-on-year increase of £39 (6%) from December 2021 – 22. Provisional data for 2023 shows higher weekly earnings than the same period in previous years, to a high of £768 in March 2023.

  line graph showing the change in earnings over time

The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector also saw an increase in the annual average labour compensation per hour. This averaged £13.22 for 2022, which is up £2.19 (20%) from 2021, which stood at just over £11 per hour. Average compensation per hour hit £21.09 for construction in 2022, an increase of 9% (£1.77) from 2021, lower than growth per hour in agriculture.

Shortages of staff continue to persist within the sector, which could have driven up the weekly earnings throughout the year, and yearly changes from 2021. Increases in labour costs have been notable across all sectors, however, which could stymie the ability of agriculture to recruit and retain key workers in future. Rising staffing costs have been an ongoing concern for all agricultural businesses alongside the whole suite of other rising input costs such as feed, fertiliser, and fuel.

Image of staff member Izzy Shohet

Izzy Shohet

Analyst (Red Meat)

See full bio

Sign up for regular updates

You can subscribe to receive Dairy market news straight to your inbox. Simply fill in your contact details on our online form and select the information you wish to receive.

Visit the Keep in touch page

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved.