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Ag jobs trend higher, despite poor ag economy

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The latest data shows increased interest in farm-related careers. analyzes candidate and job posting trends in the agricultural industry for the annual Job Outlook Report. The newest edition is available now, with encouraging data. Despite the challenging agricultural economic climate, there were still nearly 60,000 jobs openings posted on in 2016. Data also shows increased interest in agricultural careers, as experienced more visits, page views and candidate applications in 2016.

Job Trends

  • On average, 5,000 North American jobs were posted on each month in 2016; March and August were the peak months in the U.S.
  • Looking at job postings by U.S. region, the largest number was posted in the Midwest region.
  • Job listings on are categorized by 25 different industry types and 42 career types. When we look across all U.S. regions, “Plant & Soil Sciences, Seed and Biotechnology” was the leading industry type, with more than 6,000 positions posted. “Crop Production” was a close second with nearly 6,000 positions.  
  • The “Farm & Ranch Operations/Herdsperson/On Farm” career type moved to the number one spot in the U.S. for 2016, followed by “Sales/Retail” careers.

Candidate Trends

There is increased interest among candidates to pursue careers in agriculture and use in the job search process. Almost 9,000 new resumes were added to the database in 2016. processed more than 100,000 applications through the site in 2016, an increase of 15% from 2015.

Forty-three percent of applicants had a bachelor’s degree, while 12% had a college or associate’s degree and 5% had a skilled trade or apprenticeship certificate. asked applicants for their education discipline or major. The largest group had an ag-based degree (49%) while 36% had a non-ag degree.

Nearly half of applicants were currently or most recently in an ag occupation, while just over 10% were students. Those in non-ag occupations were typically in roles with transferable skills applicable to agriculture, such as sales, customer service or skilled trades.

More than half (55%) of applicants were young professionals with less than five years of experience. However, illustrating the diverse array of applicants with experience, 33% had 10-plus years of experience.

Download your free copy of the full 2016 U.S. Agribusiness Job Report here.  A separate Canadian edition is also available.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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