08/27/2019 Isaac Flath

Crops are growing, agriculture hiring is not

As the window is closing on a trade deal with China, frustration from farmers is growing faster than the crops they are unable to sell. In the past year bankruptcies among farmers have increased nearly 15 percent, and loan delinquency rates are on the rise. Farm exports to China have fallen by $1.3 billion in the first half of 2019 alone, as farmers have lost lucrative contracts.

To better understand how all of the uncertainty around trade is impacting agriculture, we analyzed LinkUp’s jobs data around agriculture hiring. Overall we found a downward trend in unique active jobs created in the last five months. 

The top top agriculture manufacturing companies, we are seeing declines in unique active jobs as hiring continues to slow down. In spring 2019, Donald Trump delayed tariffs in an act of goodwill and asked China to remove tariffs from agricultural products. Our data shows a positive spike in jobs at many companies during that time range, but when negotiations fell apart, we started to see the negative hiring trend return. 

While we do not see an impact on agriculture production occupations yet, we do see support roles declining. 

Management occupations, computer and mathematical operations, and architecture and engineering occupations are all on the decline. We see traditional agricultural roles remaining steady, which indicates that demand has remained steady and that the roles that are being cut are are related to support, logistics, and improvement. If we continue cutting costs in these areas, we will start to see serious impacts in US agriculture businesses long term as these companies will fall behind in terms of technology and infrastructure.

Ultimately there are always winners and losers in a trade war. Our data suggests that agriculture is on the losing end as hiring is on the decline.

Interested in the data behind this post? Contact us to learn more about LinkUp jobs data.

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