Analysis of Employment in the Illinois Nursery Industry

in HortTechnology

Horticulture crops are a multimillion dollar industry in Illinois, providing employment opportunities as well as strengthening many local economies. In February 1998, about 300 surveys were mailed to members of the Illinois Nurserymen's Association, including owners and operation managers of retail and wholesale nurseries, greenhouses and garden centers. Questions included the pool of available labor, the total number of persons employed, including full and part-time workers, starting and average salaries for employees, retention rates and training procedures. Questions were also asked regarding employees' education and experience level, average compensation for various levels of employment and demographics of the employee pool. A 48% response rate was achieved with 147 surveys returned and analyzed. Respondents reported an average of 70 employees including sales staff, office staff and seasonal employees. Those businesses responding employed an average of 2.5 managers with an approximate annual salary of $48,000, and an average of 15 laborers with an approximate annual salary of $21,000. Correlations provided insight into which areas of the industry hired persons with horticulture degrees and the types of experience most valued by the respondents.

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