Hog Farming

Workers & Wages

This section discusses the current status and historical trends in labor market conditions related to establishments, employment and wages within the North Carolina and U.S. hog farming industry. This analysis primarily uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) based on our definition of the hog farming industry. Links are provided to the underlying data in the form of interactive tables, charts and maps throughout this section.

Overview

Employment, wages and establishments have increased steadily in the United States and North Carolina at the aggregate level of the hog farming value chain over the last two decades. In 1992, the U.S. hog farming industry employed 281,231 people in 7,838 establishments. By 2012 this number increased to 327,350 workers in 8,031 establishments, an increase of 14.1% and 2.5% respectively over the last two decades (1992-2012).

While significant gains have occurred in North Carolina, the state has the second most number of establishments at a 2012 total of 571, or a 7.1% of the national total. It is also the ninth largest overall employer, representing 4.1% of total U.S hog farming employment. In 1992, North Carolina was the 15th largest employer, and its relative share of national employment was slightly lower (2.6%) Similarly, its national share in number of establishments was also slightly lower in 1992 when it only had 252 hog farming establishments (3.7%). The only segment of North Carolina’s hog farming value chain to have experienced a decline over the period 1992 – 2012 has been the number of animal, except poultry, slaughtering establishments (falling from 61 establishments in 1992 to 46 in 2012).

Across the U.S. value chain, the components segment of the chain (specifically, the animal, except poultry, slaughtering) dominates employment numbers; as it does in North Carolina too. While the highest average annual wages across the U.S. are paid at the rendering and meat byproduct processing segment ($51,738 in 2012), in North Carolina, however, the animal, except poultry, slaughtering segment maintains the highest average annual wages at a 2012 average of $34,446. Although annual average wages across all segments in North Carolina have increased in the two decade period 1992 to 2012, its average growth rate of 40% has been slightly lower than the average national growth of 41.7%. North Carolina in particular maintains an 18.8% share of the U.S. total number of hog and pig farms, and with 427 in 2012 it was proportionally North Carolina’s largest share of total establishments (74.78%). However, across the U.S. the largest number of establishments resides in the distribution segment (meat and meat product merchant wholesalers), with a national total of 2,439 distribution establishments.

Geographically, the hog farming value chain, overall, is concentrated in one cluster in the southeastern part of North Carolina. This regional cluster includes Duplin, Wayne, and Pender counties as well as part of Sampson County. More specifically, the largest concentration of establishments and employees in the animal, except poultry, slaughtering segment is found in Wayne, Duplin, and Sampson counties as well as in Nash and Wilson counties.

top

North Carolina
Present (2012)

Overall

  • In North Carolina, there were 571 establishments and 12,966 workers employed across the raw material, components, final products and distribution segments of the hog farming value chain (T2a; T3a).
  • The overall average annual wage is $35,204. The highest wages are in the rendering and meat byproduct processing ($43,462) and meat processed from carcasses ($35,309) and the lowest are in hog and pig farming ($30,186) (T4a; C4a) (Note: figures are based on data from 2011).
  • Geographically, the industry is concentrated in one cluster in the southeastern part of North Carolina. This cluster includes Duplin, Wayne, and Pender counties as well as part of Sampson county (M2a; M3a).

Main Segment

  • The main segment in North Carolina’s hog farming value chain is the animal, except poultry, slaughtering industry (NAICS 311611) which employed 7,240 workers in 37 establishments in 2012 (T2a; T3a).
  • Average annual wages in the animal, except poultry, slaughtering were $34,467 in 2012 (T4a; C4a).
  • Average annual wages in the household furniture segment were $33,070 (T4a; C4).
  • The largest concentration of establishments and employees in the animal, except poultry, slaughtering industry is in the south eastern part of North Carolina (Wayne, Duplin, and Sampson counties) as well as Nash and Wilson counties (M2a; M3a).

Historical Trends (1992-2012; 2002-2012)

Overall

  • Employment has increased since 1992, with total employment increasing 138.6% since 1992 (T3a; C3a). Employment increased in each of NC’s major segments of the value chain, except distribution. The number of establishments has also increased (~127%) over the 1992 - 2012 time frame (T2a; C2a).
  • Wages have increased over the last two decades (1992-2011) in all segments by an average of 76% (T4a; C4a).
  • Declines in employment have been concentrated within the state, with only thirteen of North Carolina’s 100 counties affected. Wake County has been the most affected by layoffs, affecting 1,191 workers (M8a).
  • The largest number of layoffs and closings occurred between 2008 and 2011 (C8a).

Main Segment

  • The animal, except poultry, slaughtering segment of the chain has grown over the last two decades from 3,022 workers in 1992 to under 7,240 in 2012 (T3a; C3a).
  • Additionally, North Carolina has increased its average annual wages for the sector by 35.5% from 1992 to 2012 ($22,230 - $34,467) (C4c).
  • While its number of components establishments during this period have fallen by 24.6% (61 to 46) (T2c).

top

United States
Present (2012)
  • In 2012, the hog farming and distribution industries employed 327,350 (of which 46% were in component-related segments) (C3b).
  • The largest of the three processing categories (components and final products combined), in terms of employment, is animal, except poultry, slaughtering sector, which employed roughly 142,212 workers in 2012 (T3b).
  • Overall the distribution segment has the highest average salaries ($48,871) and the lowest salaries are in the hog and pig farming segment at around $32,990 (C4b).
Historical Trends (1992-2012; 2002-2012)
  • The number of establishments in the U.S. hog farming and distribution industries decreased by 1.3% between 2002 and 2012 (T2b) and employment declined by 1.7% during the same time frame (T3b). (T2b)(T3b).
  • However, over the last two decades, employment has increased by 16.4% (281,231 v. 327,350) (C3b). Employment increased overall between 1992 and 2008, declined between 2008 and 2010, and has started to rebound between 2010 and 2012 (C3b).
  • Wages have steadily increased in all three sectors, with an average annual pay increase of 28.4% between 2002 and 2012 (T4b).
  • The distribution-related stages of the value chain have remained relatively stable over the last two decades (C2b; C3b).

top

Top U.S. States
Present (2012)

Overall

  • The top five U.S. states in the hog farming value chain are Iowa, North Carolina, Illinois, California and New York in terms of establishments (T2c) and Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Illinois and California in terms of employment (T3c).
  • North Carolina and Iowa are heavily engaged in hog and pig farming; Iowa, Texas and Nebraska in components and Illinois and Wisconsin in final products. California leads in distribution (C3c). There has been some repositioning over the last two decades including the growth of the North Carolina sector.

Main NC Segment

  • In 2012, in the components segment, the top employers were: Nebraska (13.2%), Iowa (12.4%), Texas (12.2%) and Kansas (10.1%) (T3c).
  • Texas (119), Illinois (95), Iowa (93), and Nebraska (91) had the most number of components specific establishments in 2012 (T2c). While North Carolina had the 16th highest number of components establishments in 2012 (46).
  • In 2012 the top three states paying the highest wages in the animal, except poultry, slaughtering industry were: South Dakota ($40,412); Kentucky ($38,550); and Minnesota $38,346 (T4c). North Carolina held the spot for 14th highest paying states for the animal, except poultry, slaughtering segment (T4c).

Historical Trends (1992-2012; 2002-2012)

Overall

  • Over the two decade period 1992 to 2012 there has been a reordering of the sates with the most number of hog farming establishments. Most states have decreased their number of establishments during this time, as evidenced by three of the top four states in 1992: California (641 – 481); New York (573 – 441); and Texas (457 – 435) (T2c). Other states, however, such as Iowa (375 – 537), North Carolina (252 – 571), and Illinois (504 – 571) – the top three states with the most number of establishments in 2012 - have expanded their number of establishments (T2c).
  • Interestingly, the top four employing states for the overall hog farming industry in 1992 were still the top employers in 2012: Iowa (25,330 – 29,590); Texas (24,824 - 28,586); Nebraska (19,929 – 25,655); and Illinois (17,686 – 23,092) (T3c).
  • Between 1992 and 2012 all states covered experienced a net gain in average annual wages across the entire industry. New Jersey, the state with the highest wages in 1992 ($35,383) still had the overall highest wages in the industry in 2012 ($61,275) (T4c). Minnesota notably more than doubled its average annual industry wages in 2012 over its 1992, moving from 22nd highest paying state in 1992 to 2nd in 2012 ($23,927 in 1992 to $50,320) (T4c).

Main NC Segment

  • Wages in the animal, except poultry, slaughtering segment have largely increased for all states between 1992 and 2012, with the main exception being Mississippi which was the second highest paying state in 1992, but which decreased its average annual wages in the segment by -24.5% in 2012 ($27,242 to $20,587) (T4c).
  • Kentucky, Minnesota, and Iowa all of which were top five paying states for the animal, except poultry, slaughtering segment nearly doubled their wages over the 1992 to 2012 period (T4c).
  • Employment in the components part of the chain has experienced mixed outcomes with employment falling in some and rising in others, and usually marginally between 1992 and 2012. Only a few states such as North Carolina, California, Colorado, and Tennessee experienced proportionally high employment growth rates, albeit all were from lower bases; NC 3,022 – 7,240, CA 4,235 -6831, CO 2,867 – 5884, and TN 1,542 – 3,134 (T3c).

top

NC in the U.S. Economy
Present (2012)
  • North Carolina ranks second in the U.S. in terms of the overall number of establishments with 7.1% of U.S. establishments in the hog farming industries (T2c) and is the ninth larger employer, representing 4.1% of U.S. employment (T3c).
  • North Carolina holds 18.8% of all hog and pig farms within the United States (T2c).
Historical Trends (1992-2012; 2002-2012)
  • Since 1992, North Carolina has increased its share of U.S. establishments from 3.7% to 7.1%, moving from the nation’s 8th largest in terms of establishments to 2nd (T2c). In the hog and pig farm segment (raw materials), North Carolina dropped from the national leader in 1992 to second in 2012 as Iowa grew its market share (primarily between 1992 and 2002).
  • Over the last two decades, North Carolina’s share of U.S. employment in the industry grew, raising it from the 15th largest employer in the U.S. (2.6%) to the 9th largest in hog farming (4.1%) (T3c).

top