October 13, 2017: California Farm Labor 2017

Conference Report

California’s farm labor market may be at an inflection point, adjusting to fewer unauthorized Mexican newcomers, higher minimum wages and 8/40 overtime, and stepped up enforcement of immigration laws. This seminar reviews new data on farm workers and their earnings, trends in the H-2A program (numbers, commodities, areas), and farm labor contractors, the largest component of the crop support services industry that brings more workers to crop farms than are hired directly by crop farmers.

We expect 35 people, including several UCD graduate students who could conduct research on farm labor issues. Speakers will make 15 minute presentations, and lunch will be provided.

Goals of the meeting include:

  1. Comparing average jobs, total workers, and average earnings and explore the use of UI claimant data to compare worker characteristics in UI and NAWS data
  2. Study FLCs to distinguish “captive” and “partner” FLCs, those created by or who work with one grower year-after-year versus “independent FLCs who move workers from farm to farm
  3. Explore the feasibility of obtaining demographic data on H-2A workers from their visa applications and having NAWS interview some while they are employed in CA
  4. Examine trends in labor law and immigration enforcement to assess impacts on farm workers and farm labor markets

9:00 AM: Welcome: Jennifer Hernandez, Bryan Little, Philip Martin, Lupe Sandoval

9:15 AM: New data on farm employment and earnings

10:15 AM: H-2A Program

11:15 AM: Break

11:30 AM: FLCs

12:30 PM: Lunch

1:30 PM: WHD, ICE, Bills

2:30 PM: Adjourn