The U.S. produce industry and labor
Fruit and vegetable production is a labor-intensive process, and over half of the hired workers employed by U.S. growers are believed to be unauthorized immigrants. Reforms to immigration laws, if they reduce the labor supply, may increase the cost of farm labor. This report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service assesses how particular fruit and vegetable commodities might adjust if labor rates increased. Analysis of case studies suggests a range of possible adjustment scenarios, including increased mechanization for some crops, reduced U.S. output for a few crops, and increased use of labor aids to improve labor productivity for others.
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