Hired farmworkers lacking authorization are particularly important for some crops
Hired farmworkers make up less than 1 percent of all U.S. wage and salary workers, but play an essential role in U.S. agriculture. In 2012, some 1.1 million hired farmworkers were employed on U.S. farms, according to USDA’s Farm Labor Survey. The U.S. Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey provides information about the immigration status of hired crop farmworkers but does not cover the livestock sector, for which no similar data are available. Of those crop workers surveyed between 2007 and 2009, 71 percent were foreign-born (67 percent in Mexico and 4 percent elsewhere). Forty-eight percent of all hired crop workers surveyed, and over 60 percent of those surveyed in the fruits/nuts and vegetable sector, indicated that they were not legally authorized to work in the United States. This chart is based on data from Immigration and the Rural Workforce, in the ERS Newsroom, updated May 2013.
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