How many immigrants work in agriculture in california


In 2019, almost 57 percent of crop production workers were immigrants, including 36.4 percent who were undocumented.

Top 20 States with the highest number of certified H-2A farm workers, 2020.
State Number of Certified H-2A Workers
WA 26,832
CA 25,453
NC 22,052
LA 11,332

16 more rows


What percentage of California’s agricultural workforce is immigrants?

In California, immigrants make up more than 80 percent of the state’s agricultural workforce. Other states like, Washington State (72.6%), Florida (65.4%), and Oregon (60.7%), also have higher than average shares of immigrants in their agricultural workforce.

Do immigrants work in the agriculture industry?

In many states known for their fresh produce, immigrant farm laborers make up large shares of miscellaneous agriculture workers—the occupation that includes those hand picking crops in the field. In recent years, the number of new immigrants arriving in the country to work in agriculture has fallen by 75 percent.

Who are California’s undocumented farmworkers?

California growers employ one out of three of the nation’s farmworkers. Some 70 percent of these workers were born in Mexico. Estimates are that at least 50 percent are undocumented, with little chance of changing that.

Where can I find agricultural employment data for California?

For national agricultural statistics, please visit the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service. The Excel-formatted data files below contain monthly and annual average employment and average hourly earnings data for California and six regional areas.


What percentage of agricultural workers are undocumented?

Undocumented farm workers make up approximately 50% of the farm labor workforce. Without their hard work, millions of pounds of food would otherwise go unharvested.

How many people does agriculture employ in California?

829,300We analyzed all Social Security numbers reported by farm employers in 2014 and found two workers for each average or year-round equivalent farm job, making the total number of farmworkers employed in agriculture 829,300, or twice average employment.

How many undocumented farmers are in California?

Between 1/3 and 1/2 of all farmworkers in America reside in California, or roughly 500,000 – 800,000 farmworkers. Approximately 75% of California’s farmworkers are undocumented; 83% in Santa Cruz County.

How many migrant workers work in agriculture?

More than 3 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers are estimated to be in the United States. 1 In order to plan, monitor, and evaluate the health status and needs of the agricultural population, demographic information is necessary.

What percentage of Californians work in agriculture?

California Employment Development Department data suggest that almost 5% of California’s workers were employed in agriculture, in 2016. In that year, monthly average employment in agriculture was 425,400, but the number of workers with at least one job in agriculture was 2.3 times that figure, 989,500.

How many Californians are farmers?

Of the more than 124,000 farmers and ranchers in California, 48 percent described farming as their primary occupation, higher than the national average of 42 percent. About 37 percent of California farmers and ranchers are female, a proportion nearly identical to the national average.

What percentage of farm workers in California are immigrants?

In California, immigrants make up more than 80 percent of the state’s agricultural workforce. Other states like, Washington State (72.6%), Florida (65.4%), and Oregon (60.7%), also have higher than average shares of immigrants in their agricultural workforce.

What role do immigrants play in California agriculture?

Reflecting their unique educational profile, immigrants in California make up large share of workers in a variety of labor-intensive fields. More than three out of every five employees in the state’s landscaping industry are foreign-born, as are 71.5 percent of workers in crop production.

How much do migrant farm workers get paid in California?

In California, the pay rate for H-2A workers was $14.77 in 2020 and $16.05 in 2021. In 2022, the state’s H-2A workers will see a $2.74 hourly jump from the 2020 rate for an hourly pay of $17.51.

What state has most migrant workers?

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the south, Uttar Pradesh in the north, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal in the east and Assam in the northeast India were the major states of origin of migrant workers….Origin statistics.StatePercentage shareUttar Pradesh20Assam23Bihar20Orissa5

What race are most farm workers?

The most common ethnicity of Agriculture Workers is White (53.2%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (37.6%) and Black or African American (5.1%). The majority of Agriculture Workers are located in CA, Bakersfield and CA, Salinas. Agriculture Workers are paid an average annual salary of $26,620.

How much of U.S. food supply comes from California?

Leading the nation While California produces 13 percent of the total cash agricultural receipts for the U.S., it is the sole producer (99 percent or more) for the following crops.

When did California start farming?

Farming in California as we know it today has its origin in the mid–1800s, when U.S. merchant capitalists and slave holders briefly united to seize the vast northern Mexican territories. “Robber baron” opportunists rushed in after the conquest to grab the extensive Mexican land grants.

Why was labor needed in California?

Abundant labor was needed to realize the land’s enormous potential for wealth production. It was slavery—the powerful engine of capital accumulation in the early United States—that served as California growers’ ideological model for their labor system.

What is California’s most important source of food?

California is by far the most important source of fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy, meat, and other products of the U.S. food system. The list of U.S.- grown foods produced almost exclusively in California by the state’s roughly eight hundred thousand farmworkers is a long one, including two thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts, …

When did the California grape strike start?

There was a time when a different kind of public attention was directed toward California farmworkers. It began in 1965 , when a strike of Filipino and Mexican grape workers in the Coachella and southern San Joaquin valleys erupted.

Can colonized labor be sustained?

Colonized labor can only be sustained by a system of repression and control. Oscar Ramos, as the undocumented child of a migrant family, lived in fear of being taken away from his family who worked in Hollister and lived in a local labor camp. “Immigration agents would raid the camp regularly.….

When will California agriculture employment drop?

California’s Employment Development Department reported that agricultural employment in 2020 was 20 to 30 percent lower than in 2019, with the largest drop in June 2020. All farm employers with 250 or more workers are asked to report their employment for the payroll period that includes the 12th of the month;

Why are farm jobs so low?

There are several reasons for lower agricultural employment, including the Covid-19 pandemic that closed restaurants and reduced the demand for some farm commodities and some farm employers not reporting farm employment data or reporting late. Some farm accounting offices are closed, making it hard to prepare and submit employment data …

Why are there fewer hours of work in 2020 than in 2019?

Some workers employed by labor contractors report fewer hours of work in 2020 than they had in 2019 because larger crews are dividing less work, but there are no data to determine if such a pattern is widespread.

How many counties are H-2A certified in California?

The H-2A program in California follows two rules of two thirds: Two thirds of H-2A jobs were in six counties, led by Monterey with over a quarter and Santa Barbara with 10 percent of jobs certified. Over two-thirds of H-2A jobs were with farm labor contractors, including a third with the California’s largest H-2A employer, Fresh Harvest.

Where are H-2A workers located?

Job certification data emphasize that most H-2A workers are in coastal counties with high-value commodities and high housing costs. Imperial county is on the Mexico-US border, where frequent Border Patrol checks of buses carrying farm workers encourage employers to hire legal workers.

When will lettuce be shipped in 2020?

The volume of iceberg lettuce shipped in 2020 (blue) was lower in March-April 2020 than in 2019 (red) and 2018 (green), and higher in June 2020. Source:

Is farm accounting closed?

Some farm accounting offices are closed, making it hard to prepare and submit employment data and difficult for EDD to contact employers who do not report employment data in a timely fashion. Some employers are paying employment taxes but not reporting farm employment. Comparing commodity shipments for lettuce, …

How much of the farm labor is undocumented?

Undocumented farm workers make up approximately 50% of the farm labor workforce. Without their hard work, millions of pounds of food would otherwise go unharvested. While these workers pay taxes and contribute to the economy, they are not protected by U.S. labor laws, and they live every day under the threat of arrest and family separation – all while working in extremely difficult conditions.

How much of the US agriculture industry is a farm worker?

All together, food and agriculture sector is a $1.053 trillion industry. 1

How long have undocumented immigrants lived in the US?

In general, the majority of undocumented immigrants have lived in the U.S. for more than ten years. Likewise, the average farmworker has worked for their current farm employer for seven years, and more than 80% of hired farmworkers work at a single location within 75 miles of their home. Bar chart with 3 data series.

How many workers do farmers need in the US?

The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that, in total, U.S. agriculture needs 1.5 to 2 million hired workers each year. Farmers are struggling to fill these positions; in 2019, 56% of California farmers reported being unable to find all the workers they needed over the last five years.

What is the labor shortage in 2020?

In 2020, this chronic labor shortage was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced employers to keep workers at home and restricted access to foreign-born workers that farmers had been planning to employ.

Why are there fewer immigrants in the US?

Immigrants have filled these shortfalls in the workforce for decades, but in recent years, fewer immigrants are coming to the U.S. to work in agriculture, a result of current U.S. immigration policy and rising incomes in Me xico. The labor shortage puts American agriculture at a competitive disadvantage.

When was the Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed?

Note: On March 18, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 1603), introduced by Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA), with strong bipartisan support. The bill would modernize the H-2A visa program and establish a pathway to legal status and citizenship for certain undocumented …

How many agriculture workers are foreign born in California?

But the raises and new perks have not tempted native-born Americans to leave their day jobs for the fields. Nine in 10 agriculture workers in California are still foreign born, and more than half are undocumented, according to a federal survey.

How many farm labor vacancies were filled in Silverado, Texas in 1996?

And Silverado is far from unique. U.S. workers filled just 2% of a sample of farm labor vacancies advertised in 1996, according to a report published by the Labor Department’s office of inspector general.

Why do farmers need Trump?

To keep crops from rotting in the field, farmers say they need Trump to let in more temporary workers. Desired for their labor, rejected as neighbors. Farmworkers in California face hostile communities. As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers race to replace workers with robots.

Who is the farm worker at Silverado Farming?

Farmworker Leobijildo Martinez tends to the grapevines at Silverado Farming in Napa Valley. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times) Workers at Silverado Farming take a break. Full-timers at Silverado get benefits that include 10 paid vacation days, eight paid holidays and pay for taking English classes.

How much does Leovijildo Martinez make an hour?

Leovijildo Martinez, who commutes to the Napa Valley from Stockton each day, earns $19.50 an hour working vineyards that produce grapes for a winery whose bottles go for about $300. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times) Farmworker Leobijildo Martinez tends to the grapevines at Silverado Farming in Napa Valley.

Detailed Agricultural Employment and Earnings Data Tables

The Excel-formatted data files below contain monthly and annual average employment and average hourly earnings data for California and six regional areas.

Additional Resources

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service, provides timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

How many farm workers were there in 1990?

According to data from the Farm Labor Survey (FLS) of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS), the number of self-employed and family farmworkers declined from 7.60 million in 1950 to 2.01 million in 1990, a 74-percent reduction. Over this same period, average annual employment of hired farmworkers—including on-farm support …

Where can I find demographic information on farmworkers?

Demographic information on farmworkers can be found in the American Community Survey (ACS) from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. These data also allow us to distinguish among manual laborers, managers/supervisors, and other occupations in the industry.

What was the average farm wage in 1990?

By 2019, the farm wage ($13. 99) was equal to 60 percent of the nonfarm wage ($23.51).

What is the Farm Labor Survey?

Farm Labor Survey#N#The Farm Labor Survey (FLS) conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is based on semi-annual phone interviews with a random sample of farm employers (crops and livestock) who are asked to provide quarterly data on their wage bill, employment counts, and average weekly hours for all hired workers, by occupation. Contract labor is excluded, and no demographic information on the workforce is collected. Each year, the FLS’s estimate of the annual average wage for nonsupervisory field and livestock workers in each of 17 regions is used as the basis for the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR), which sets a minimum wage for H-2A workers in the following year. The survey is described here, and its quarterly reports are archived here. Data and statistics can also be obtained via NASS Quickstats .​

What percentage of crop workers are white?

Crop laborers are also less likely to be non-Hispanic White (25 percent versus 48 percent for livestock), and less likely to have been born in the United States (39 percent for crop workers in manual labor occupations versus 60 percent for manual livestock workers).

What is the NAWS survey?

National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) NAWS, conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, is an employment-based, random-sample survey of U.S. crop workers (neither livestock workers nor seasonal workers on H-2A visas are covered) that collects demographic, employment, and health data in face-to-face interviews.

What is NAWS in agriculture?

Notably, the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), discussed below, finds larger shares of foreign-born, Hispanic, and less educated employees among crop and support workers than does the ACS (livestock workers are not surveyed in NAWS).


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