August 16, 2017

Report Shows Undocumented Farm Workers A Dwindling Population

 |  By: Ashley Davenport

Farmers might soon have a tough time finding workers after a report from the Migration Policy Institute says the number of undocumented farm workers is falling.

The data was collected from the Department of Labor and found that from 2000 to 2014, undocumented workers in the agriculture sector fell from 55 percent to 47 percent.

The shift is mostly attributed to a drop in immigration following the 2008 recession, and industry groups believe the number could continue to shrink.

“In response to the dwindling arrival of newcomers from Mexico, farm employers are increasingly pursuing four strategies to meet their labor needs: satisfy, stretch, substitute and supplement,” said Philip Martin, a professor of agriculture at the University of California, Davis.

The report also found U.S. farm workers are now mostly Mexican-born men, and roughly half of farm workers received Medicaid, food stamps, or other benefits in 2014.