October 19, 2021
H-2A: Growth and FLCs from 2010-19
The number of farm jobs certified by DOL to be filled with H-2A workers tripled between FY10 and FY19, from 79,000 to 258,000. The FLC share of job certifications also tripled from 15 percent to 42 percent. H-2A jobs are concentrated in fruits and vegetables, each accounts for a third of H-2A job certifications.
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BLS Projections: 2030 to 2040
DOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the size of the labor force and employment every two years. BLS in October 2021 released projections for the 2020-30 decade that emphasize that the aging and slower growing US population and labor force means that employment in the health care and social assistance industry will increase at the fastest rate.
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Mexico: Growth Slows, Export Ag Booms
Mexico’s economy expanded in summer 2021. However, with only a third of Mexicans fully vaccinated, the covid pandemic slowed economic and job growth. Mexico’s fresh fruit and vegetable exports to the US rose in 2020 and 2021, supporting a million year-round and seasonal jobs on Mexican farms that export most of what they produce. Another two million Mexicans are employed for wages on farms that produce for the Mexican domestic market, and a further two million Mexican-born workers are employed on US farms.
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Vegetables: Global Production and Trade
Vegetables are edible plant matter that, by culinary and cultural tradition, exclude most fruits, flowers, nuts, and cereal grains, but include savory fruits such as tomatoes, flowers such as broccoli, and seeds such as pulses. Vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked. Most vegetables are low in fat and carbohydrates and high in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
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Fruit: Global Production and Trade
Fruits are the seed-bearing structures of flowering plants used to disseminate seeds, although most fruits that are consumed are bred to remove seeds. Most fruit is eaten raw. Some fruits are classified as vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Simple fleshy fruits are often grouped into berries, stone fruits such as cherries and peaches, and pome fruits including apples and pears.
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September 13, 2021
3 Decades of NAWS Data
The National Agricultural Worker Survey has been interviewing 1,500 to 3,000 non-H-2A workers employed on US crop farms each year since 1989. Analysis of three decades NAWS data and reports find that crop workers are aging, settled in one place, and working 200 days a year for one farm employer.
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US Population in 2020
The 2020 census found a slower growing and aging US population. The US population expanded at its slowest pace since the 1930s, up 23 million or 7.4 percent from 308 million in 2010 to 331 million in 2020. Puerto Rico had 3.3 million residents, so some US population totals are 334 million.
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The US is the land of opportunity, but how much mobility is there from low- to high-wage occupations? Less than 10 percent of US workers in the top income quintile had fathers who were in the bottom quintile, which is about half of the 20 percent average for upward mobility from the bottom to the top income quintiles between fathers and sons in OECD countries.
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Florida versus Mexican Agriculture
Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a report in August 2021 that blamed rising imports of Mexican fruits and vegetables for a reduction of $1.3 billion to $2.6 billion in Florida sales of fruits and vegetables. Between 2015 and 2020, the value of fruits and vegetables imported from Mexico rose from $10 billion a year to $16 billion a year.
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Global Population and Migration
The world’s population of 7.8 billion increases by one percent or 78 million a year. The population growth rate is expected to slow to 0.5 percent in 2050, when the population of 9.7 billion will be increasing by almost 50 million a year.
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