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The Economy in Perspective

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By the sweat of our brow … Everyone knows the story: U.S. agricultural employment has plummeted since the 1920s, when farm jobs made up about 20% of total U.S. employment. Today, that share is only 2%. For almost 30 years now, the absolute number of agricultural jobs in this country has changed little, but overall employment has expanded significantly. Yet early in the century, farm output swelled as farm jobs declined; in the last three decades, output doubled as employment held steady. This reveals the key role of productivity gains in the evolution of the agricultural sector.

Suggested citation: "The Economy in Perspective," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 99-09, pp. 01, 09.01.1999.

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