Napa Wine Industry Wages Signal Strong Sector

Associate Professor Robert Yetman presented the findings of his survey of wine industry workers in the Napa Valley at the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association’s “Ahead of the Curve” conference on April 19. The conference, the first of its kind, attracted vineyard owners, managers and area winemakers.

Yetman was invited to discuss wages and benefits of wine industry workers in the region. His presentation was based on survey data collected from employees and contract workers of local wineries, vineyards and management companies. The results painted a picture of the labor market in the Napa wine industry, including data such as the difference between the average hourly wages of a worker ($11.03) and a supervisor ($16.24).

Yetman’s study showed that the average pay raises for Napa wine industry workers (6.8%), supervisors (6.2%) and specialized workers (5.2%), such as mechanics, are again keeping pace with other industries. Yetman found that contract workers in Napa Valley make 20 percent more than regular staff employees. Yetman’s study also showed that 32 percent of the workers surveyed from Napa Valley are full-time workers and that the average Napa wine industry worker earns $2.73 per hour—about a 30 percent premium—more than the average California worker.