Mar 8, 2013Why are Mexicans leaving farm work, and what does this mean for U.S. farmers?
Agriculture in North America traditionally has had its comparative advantage in having access to abundant low-skilled labor from Mexico. Around 70% of the United States hired farm workforce is Mexico-born, according to the National Agricultural Worker Survey (NAWS).
Fruit, vegetable, and horticultural farms in the US have enjoyed an extended period of farm labor abundance with stable or decreasing real wages. However, new panel data reveal a declining long-term trend in the farm labor supply in rural Mexico. In coming years, US farmers will need to offer higher wages to induce new workers to migrate northward to US farm jobs. Oxford University Press
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