November 22, 2022
California Farm Employment and Farm Workers
California agriculture employs up to 900,000 workers sometime during a typical year to fill 425,000 full-time equivalent jobs, that is, average employment is 425,000, but more than twice this many unique individuals are employed on the state’s farms sometime during the year due to seasonality and worker turnover.
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Fresh Produce Industry Employment
The IFPP commissioned a study that estimated some 1.1 million US jobs were linked to the US fresh produce industry in 2021. The Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. The IFPP included these farm commodities and the industries that distribute them to consumers.
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FAO: World Fisheries
The FAO reported global production of 178 million tons of aquatic animals and 36 million tons of algae in 2020. Fish and seafood were worth $200 billion in 2020, an average of $1.10 a pound, while algae was worth $0.50 a pound.
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Immigrants in Canada: 2021
Canada had 39 million people on July 1, 2022, up almost 300,000 from the previous year and up from 35 million in 2012, largely due to immigration. Over half of newly arrived foreigners were non-permanent residents, including asylum applicants and work and study permit holders.
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Record Border Encounters and Polls
A record 2.2 million unauthorized foreigners were encountered by Border Patrol agents just inside the US border with Mexico in FY22. Another 172,500 were detected at ports of entry, bringing total encounters to 2.4 million, up 37 percent from 1.7 million encounters in FY21.
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October 17, 2022
US Farm Labor Outlook
The US farm labor market employs about 2.5 million workers sometime during a typical year to fill 1.5 million full-time equivalent jobs (average employment). About 80 percent of hired farm workers, some two million, were born in Mexico, including 1.75 million who have settled in the US and 250,000 who work seasonally as H-2A workers for an average six months a year. Most of the settled Mexican-born workers arrived in the 1990s and early 2000s in their 20s, and are now in their 40s; half are unauthorized.
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Food Spending: 2021
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey reported that there were 133.6 million US "consumer units" or households in 2021. 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.
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Income and Poverty in 2021
Median household income was $70,800 in 2021, meaning that half of US households had higher and half had lower incomes. Median incomes varied from a low of $63,400 in the south to $79,400 in the west.
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US Labor Force Projections to 2031
US employment is projected to increase by less than a million a year between 2021 and 2031, from 158 million to 166 million. Because of the covid pandemic, base year employment in 2021 was artificially low due to the closure of restaurants and hotels, which makes projected employment growth appear to be high in some occupations.
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Food Safety and Farm Labor Compliance
There was little government or industry concern with the safety of fresh produce until the 1990s. The death of several children in 1993 who ate undercooked Jack in the Box hamburgers contaminated with E Coli prompted efforts to prevent the contamination of food rather than simply investigating the source food that made people sick. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans became routine in meat processing, and spread to fresh produce as the FDA traced more food illnesses to green onions and other fresh produce that is eaten raw.
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