This paper uses detailed field survey data to address the research puzzles and policy dilemmas of the Egyptian rural labor market.[ 1 ] Most previous analyses used macro level data to analyze the labor shortage issue, simply because sufficiently detailed micro data were not available.[ 2 ] Limited data on precisely what kind of worker performed which agricultural job and on the seasonal distribution of labor inputs existed, but detailed micro data on the distribution of wages by age, sex, and farm task were unavailable. The general labor utilization pattern of very small farmers was uncertain. No data set which would permit the estimation of labor supply functions existed, precluding any estimation of the elasticity of hired labor supply to wage rate changes.