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October 2016, Volume 22, Number 4

Rural America

California: Labor, Water
California's labor force in summer 2016 was 19.1 million, including 18.1 million who were employed. Los Angeles county has a labor force of five

Meat and Migrants
JBS bought Swift Foods in 2007, after immigration raids in December 2006 at six Swift plants removed 1,282 unauthorized workers from the 7,000

Labor, H-1B
Job growth resumed in summer 2016, with employment rising by 292,000 in June and 255,000 in July, but only 151,000 in August and 156,000 in

Farm Workers

California: Overtime, H-2A
AB 2757, the Phase-In Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016, would remove an exemption by January 1, 2022 that requires overtime pay for farm

Florida, Southeast: H-2A
Florida is the largest H-2A-using state, with almost 18,000 jobs certified in FY15. Three-fourths of Florida's oranges are picked by H-2A workers,

Northeast, Midwest, Northwest
Illinois. The Chicago Tribune on August 6, 2016 profiled a south Texas family that moves each year to 13,000-resident Rantoul, Illinois to detassel

The UFW endorsed Hillary Clinton in March 2016 after she agreed to help the union in its battle with Gerawan, according to documents released by

NAWS: V-shape Trends
The National Agricultural Worker Survey (NAWS) interviews 3,000 to 4,000 workers employed on US crop farms, making it the largest US farm worker


DAPA, Politics
The US Supreme Court in October 2016 refused to reconsider its 4-4 decision that effectively upheld lower court decisions that found the Obama

DHS: Deportations, Refugees
India and China surpassed Mexico as the leading sources of foreign-born residents in 2014. Some 136,000 Indians arrived, 128,000 Chinese, and

H-2A, H-2B, Braceros
The H-2A guest worker program continues to expand. Some 140,000 farm jobs were certified to be filled by H-2A workers in FY15, and almost 135,000

Europe, Asia, Africa
The major migration developments in Europe in summer 2016 revolved around migrants attempting to reach Italy by boat from Libya, integrating Syrian

Global Migration
International migration is the exception, not the rule. Some 250 million people, about 3.3 percent of the world's 7.3 billion people, have left


Farm Wages and Food Costs: 2015
The US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey reported there were 128 million "consumer units" or households in

California Agriculture
Fresno was the leading US farm county until 2013, when the drought reduced irrigation water available to large farmers on the western side of the

US Ag: Sales, Trade
US farm sales were $375 billion in 2015, including $190 billion worth of crops and $185 billion worth of animal products. Farm sales included $30

Wine, Food
California wineries shipped a record 276 million cases of wine in 2015, including 83 percent to US consumers. Total US wine shipments from US and

Climate Change
The world is warming: 2014, 2015 and 2016 each set records as the warmest years since accurate temperature records were kept beginning in 1880.


National Academies, OECD
A September 2016 report, "The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration," estimated that immigrants generated up to $54 billion in benefits for

Safety Valves and Nets
Sending workers abroad is often seen as a safety valve for countries with more workers than jobs. A safety valve allows steam to escape and protect

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