The Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, harvesting timber, and harvesting fish and other animals from a farm, ranch, or their natural habitats.
The establishments in this sector are often described as farms, ranches, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries, orchards, or hatcheries.
Agriculture, as a heritage-based industry, employs a substantial sum of workers at just over 26,600, a rate 500% the national average. Average earnings are approximately $42,300, also above the national average. The sector involves substantial supplemental goods and services, much of which is supplied by in-region companies. The rate of start-ups in Ventura County in this cluster is 18% above the national average.
Given the pressures of technological advances and finite water resources, additional job growth is not expected in this sector. Employment has been declining over recent years and is not expected to recover due to the impacts of automation, federal immigration policy, and water resources.
Q4 2019 shows a decrease of 1,000 jobs from Q3, though this decrease is a reflection of winter growing conditions. That said, year over year comparisons for the month of December show an increase approximately 400 jobs in Ventura County.
Q1 2020 concluded at 24,700 total employment, though April and May figures are reflecting the impacts of business closures since March. April and May showed total employment of 22,200 and 22,500 respectively. This is down 5,900 jobs in year over year comparisons.
The chart below displays Q1-Q4 2019, then begins with Q1 2020to show the trends.
While job growth is expected to decline, this sector will remain fundamental to both the character and economy of Ventura County, and will need to continue to adapt to changing consumer tastes along with market pressures and opportunities presented by a global supply chain.