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Rural Migration Blog

July 2023

H-2A Program Expands in 2023

The H-2A program expanded in FY23. DOL certified 13,500 applications to fill 212,000 jobs with H-2A workers in the first two quarters of FY23, up from 12,000 applications to fill 193,000 jobs with H-2A workers in the first half of FY22, up 10 percent. H-2A job certifications may surpass peak mid-1950s Bracero admissions of 455,000 before 2025.

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World Bank: More Migration

The World Bank’s 2023 World Development Report estimated that almost 300 million people were international migrants in 2023, including 260 million or 85 percent who were in the labor force of their host country. The foreign-born share of residents in high-income countries almost tripled from five percent in 1960 to 15 percent in 2020.

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Foreign Workers and US Labor Supply

Labor markets are physical or virtual places and spaces where employers find workers and workers find jobs. Employers and workers can meet physically, as with day labor markets where workers congregate to be hired by contractors for the day, or online as with internet platforms and zoom interviews. Job search is costly for workers, and hiring and training workers is expensive for employers, so employers and workers invest to ensure good and persisting worker-job matches.

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ILO: 3.6 billion workers worldwide

The ILO estimated that the world’s labor force was 3.6 billion in 2023, including 2.2 billion men and 1.4 billion women. The labor force participation rate, the share of persons 15 and older who are employed or looking for wage work, was 60 percent, including 72 percent for men and 47 percent for women. Some 3.4 billion workers were employed and 200 million were unemployed, making the global unemployment rate six percent.

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