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About Migration Dialogue

Migration Dialogue provides timely, factual and nonpartisan information and analysis of international migration issues through five major activities: the newsletters Migration News and Rural Migration News, Changing Face and other Research & Seminars, and the Sloan West Coast Program on Science and Engineering Workers.

Contact us at migrant@primal.ucdavis.edu.

Rural Migration Blog: Food Spending and Farm Wages: 2019

The US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey reported a total of 132 million US "consumer units" or households in 2019. They had an average of 2.5 persons, 1.3 earners and 1.9 motor vehicles; 63 percent were homeowners and the average age of the reference person in the household was 51. Average consumer unit income before taxes was $82,850, and average annual expenditures were $63,000.

Household expenditures included $8,200 for food, 13 percent of total expenditures. Food spending was divided between food eaten at home, which accounted for 56 percent or $4,600 of food spending, an average or $88 a week, and $3,509 or $67 a week for food bought away from home. The cost of food away from home largely reflects convenience, service, atmosphere and other factors. The cost of food represents 35 percent of what is spent in cafeteria-style restaurants, 30 percent of spending in fast food restaurants, and 25 percent of spending in fine dining restaurants.

Other significant consumer-unit expenditures were $20,700 for housing, $10,700 for transportation, $5,200 for health care, $1,900 for apparel, and $3,000 for entertainment.

Housing and transportation accounted for over half of consumer expenditures; food was 13%


Source: https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/consumer-expenditures/2018/pdf/home.pdf

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  • Rural Migration News

    Rural Migration News is produced with the support of the Colcom, Giannini, and Walmart foundations. A paper edition is available by mail for $30 domestic and $50 foreign for one year and $55 and $95 for two-years. Make checks payable to Migration Dialogue and send to Philip Martin, Department of Ag and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, California 95616 USA.

  • Farm Labor and Mexican Produce Exports

    The US imports half of its fresh fruit and a third of its fresh vegetables, mostly from Mexico. the leading source. This project, led by the Wilson Center's Mexico Institute and supported by the Walmart foundation, is developing a database on Mexican farm workers employed in Mexican export agriculture and in US labor-intensive agriculture.

  • Migration News

    Migration News is produced with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and UCB Institute of European Studies. A paper edition is available by mail for $30 domestic and $50 foreign for one year and $55 and $95 for two years. Make checks payable to Migration Dialogue and send to Philip Martin, Department of Ag and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, California 95616 USA.

  • Sloan West Coast Program On S&E Workers

    This network of researchers hosts seminars on labor and immigration issues affecting science and engineering workers, compiles and distributes information on these issues, and cooperates closely with the NBER's SEWP.

  • Changing Face & UFW Contracts

    The Changing Face project assesses the effects of immigrant farm workers on agriculture and agricultural communities.

  • Research & Seminars

    Include Opinion Leader Seminars, the Comparative Immigration and Integration Program, and Transatlantic Migration Policy Issue seminars.