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February 28, 2011

The Garden State has 2,130 regular employees in the farming, fishing and forestry industry, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. That stat may be a bit misleading, though, since the Labor Department only tracks employees with regular paychecks -- not small business owners or workers who are paid off the books.

The Labor Department says the average annual employee pay in 2009 was $24,780. First-line supervisor or managers were the best paid, at $49,860. The 90 agricultural inspectors were the second-highest paid, at $44,270. The largest number of those working in the industry were the 1,210 laborers in the crop fields, nurseries, or greenhouses, who earned an annual average of $22,170.

The lowest-earning group was the 110 fishing workers, who earned $9.18 an hour for an average yearly salary $22,040.

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