July 16, 2021
California: FLC Employment Down and Wages Up in 2020
Average employment in California crop agriculture rose eight percent from 2001 to 2020, from 345,000 to 372,000. However, direct-hire crop employment (NAICS 111) fell by 15 percent to 160,000, while crop support employment (1151) rose by 35 percent to 212,000. Crop support firms include custom harvesters and farm management companies, but the largest crop support sector is farm labor contractors (115115).
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Covid Will Accelerate Automation
The covid pandemic encouraged many service firms to substitute technology for people to limit people-to-people contacts, such as using order-taking apps in restaurants. Many of the new technologies proved to be successful, which may reduce employment in hotels and restaurants over time as wages rise and employers have difficulty recruiting and retaining hotel clerks and restaurant staff.
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Labor Law Enforcement: FLSA and NLRA
An analysis of the labor law violations detected by federal investigators concluded that US firms can increase their profits by violating minimum wage and other labor laws because the probability of detection is low and the penalties for violations are small. Labor law enforcement depends on tight labor markets that help workers to reject jobs with employers who violate labor laws and empower worker to file complaints with enforcement agencies.
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Peru: Fruit Exporting Superpower?
Peru exported fruit worth $3.8 billion in 2020, making Peru one of the top 10 fruit-exporting countries. Chile is the leading Southern Hemisphere fruit exporter, but the value of Peru’s farm exports exceed those of Ecuador and South Africa.
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USDA Projections to 2030
USDA’s projections of agricultural production and trade during the 2020-30 decade anticipate stable production and prices of field crops such as corn and soybeans, and slightly rising production and prices for milk and meat due to increased demand for these animal products abroad. The US is expected to remain a net exporter of agricultural commodities, but the agricultural trade surplus is projected to decline as fruit and vegetable imports rise faster than exports.
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June 21, 2021
Farm Labor: Employment Down, Wages Up
US farm employment fell and hourly wages rose between April 2020 and April 2021. The fall in employment was sharpest in Florida, down 26 percent, and the increase in wages was largest in California, to $17.25 an hour.
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Hired Labor in US Dairies
Mammals feed their young milk until they can digest solid food; humans are almost unique among mammals in continuing to drink milk as adults. The US produces the most milk from dairy cows, followed by India, China, Brazil, and Germany.
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Foreign-born Workers in 2020
There were 27.3 million foreign-born workers in the 161 million strong US labor force in 2020, down from 27.5 million in the 164 million strong labor force in 2019. Foreign-born workers were 17 percent of all US workers in 2020, but they accounted for almost 40 percent of the decline in the US workforce between 2019 and 2020.
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The H-2A program and nonfarm jobs
The H-2A program allows farm employers who are unable to fill seasonal jobs to be certified by DOL to employ H-2A guest workers after they try and fail to recruit US workers. DOL must also determine that the presence of the H-2A workers will not adversely affect US workers.
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Remittances to LDCs were $540 billion in 2020
Remittances to low- and middle-income developing (LDC) countries were $540 billion in 2020, down slightly from 2019, and are expected to top $550 billion in 2021. Excluding China, which attracts the most foreign direct investment among developing countries, remittances to LDCs in 2020 exceeded FDI and official development assistance (ODA) combined.
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