H-2A: 372,000 jobs certified in FY22
The H-2A program allows US farmers who anticipate shortages of seasonal workers to be certified by DOL to recruit and employ H-2A workers to fill seasonal jobs, usually for up to 10 months. Employers certified by DOL submit petitions to DHS for approval, which forwards them to DOS consulates abroad; DHS admits workers with visas.
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Remittances: $626 billion in 2022
Remittances, the monies sent to countries of origin by migrants abroad, reached a record $626 billion to low- and middle-income countries in 2022. Remittances are three times Official Development Assistance (ODA) and exceed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), making them the largest financial flow from richer to poorer countries. Remittances have reached new records every year despite a wide range of challenges, from closed borders during covid to a weakening Euro that reduces the value of remittances sent from Europe in dollar terms.
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CEA and Labor
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) involves growing plants under protective structures that shield them from weather and pests. CEA raises yields, reduces water requirements, and facilitates organic production. Many CEA operations are located in urban areas near consumers. Data on CEA workforces are sparse, but US CEA farms may employ a smaller share of the unauthorized Mexican-born workers who dominate in open field agriculture.
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US Fruit and Vegetable Trade
The US had an agricultural trade surplus in most years between 1960 and 2020 because exported farm commodities were worth more than the commodities that were imported. The US farm trade surplus has turned into a deficit in recent years as the US imports more fruits and vegetables, which are more valuable than the corn and soybeans that dominate among US farm exports.
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World wine in 2020
World wine consumption was 236 million hectoliters in 2021, down from the 260 million hectoliters consumed in 2019. One hectoliter is 26.4 gallons, making global wine consumption about 6.2 billion gallons or 1.1 gallons per year for each of the 5.5 billion people 18 and older.
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