The 2016 farm structure survey recorded
After World War II there were still more than 1 624 034 people working in the agricultural sector. By 2016 there were only 404 734. The interim period has been marked by a steady decline in the number of people working in agriculture and forestry, a decline that was particularly sharp prior to 1980. The “rise” noted between 1990 and 1995 is due to a change in methodology. In line with EU stipulations, it was necessary also to take account of the work carried out in agriculture and forestry by pensioners and by schoolchildren and students aged 15 and over. To reflect more accurately the reality of the work done, the special advisory committee on agricultural statistics recommended that the scope of employment of retired people be downgraded by two categories; so if for example “full employment” was reported, the work carried out was actually reduced to “between 50% and 75%”. Reducing the scope of employment for retired people is standard practice at the international level. Likewise the hours worked by students and schoolchildren must not exceed a certain scope.
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