Sector Overview

The Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing sector is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, harvesting timber, and harvesting fish and other animals on a farm, ranch, or from their natural habitats.1

More than 2.2 million workers are employed in the US agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry.2 Among hired farm workers on crop operations, approximately 82% are of Hispanic ethnicity, 76% are foreign born primarily in Mexico, and 52% are authorized.3 Thirty-five percent of the farming workforce is older than 55 years.2 Almost 1 million youth lived on farms in 2012, with about half performing work or chores on the farm.4

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing and hunting is still recorded as the highest fatal injury rate of any industry sector at 23.2 fatal injuries per 100,000 FTE workers in 2013.5


  1. North American Industry Classification System – Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishingexternal icon
  2. NIOSH [2015]. Analysis of the Current Population Survey. Morgantown, WV: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Unpublished.
  3. U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, National Agricultural Workers Survey, Public Data, 2009-2010, available at: icon (accessed on 19 Nov 2015).
  4. NIOSH [2014]. Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey (CAIS) public-use data, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012. March 2014, available at: /niosh/topics/childag/CAIS/ (accessed on 19 Nov 2015).
  5. Fatal occupational injuries by industry and event or exposure, All U.S., 2013pdf iconexternal icon
Page last reviewed: November 24, 2015