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Rural Migration Blog

October 2019

Forced Labor and Human Trafficking

The Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking released a report in September 2019 that estimated there were 40.3 million people in modern slavery or victims of human trafficking in 2016, generating $150 billion a year for their perpetrators. SDG 8.7 calls on UN member nations to end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030.

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DESA: 272 Million International Migrants in 2019

The Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) reported that the number of international migrants rose by 51 million between 2010 and 2019, from 221 million to 272 million. Migrants were 3.5 percent of the world’s 7.7 billion people in 2019.

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DOL projects US labor force of 171 million in 2028

DOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released projections of the US economy and labor force in October 2019 that anticipate a labor force of 171 million in 2028 and a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of 61 percent, versus a peak LFPR of 67 percent in 2000. Employment is projected to increase slower, and the LFPR or the share of persons 16 and older who are employed or looking for work is projected to decline, because of the aging US population.

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Mexico’s Agricultural Exports

Mexico is a major exporter of fresh fruits and vegetables and other agricultural commodities; most of Mexico’s agricultural exports go to the US. Between 2000 and 2018, Mexico’s agricultural exports to the US rose fourfold to $28 billion, while US agricultural exports to Mexico doubled to $20 billion, giving Mexico an $8 billion agricultural trade surplus with the US in 2018.

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H-2A Prevailing Wage Surveys

Farm employers seeking DOL certification to employ H-2Aworkers must offer and pay the higher of the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR), the prevailing wage in the area, or the federal or state minimum wage. The AEWR is usually the highest of these wages and covers a range of farm jobs in a state or multistate region, while the prevailing wage is for a particular task in a particular area of a state, such as harvesting strawberries in Salinas-Watsonville.

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