Covid-19: Immigrant Workers Are Essential in Securing U.S. Food Supply Chain

Date of Publication: 
April, 2020
Source Organization: 
New American Economy

In the United States, immigrants comprise more than one in five food sector workers. These essential workers help to feed millions of Americans in economically stable times, but take on added importance in a national emergency like a pandemic. The food sector consists of hundreds of different jobs, each drawing larger or smaller numbers of immigrants. In the agriculture industry, for example, nearly 50 percent of field workers are immigrants. They are also almost half of meat processing workers, 37 percent of bakers, and 31 percent of janitors and building cleaners in supermarkets. The report provides detailed breakdowns of immigrant percentages by job category, as well as charts showing immigrant occupational data by states. The article features data visualization showing the risk for exposure to the COVID-19 virus among immigrants in an array of frontline and other essential services. The article argues for greater recognition of the vital role played by immigrants, now more at risk because of the pandemic. (Olivia Pickard for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

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New American Economy. (2020, April 16). Covid-19: Immigrant Workers Are Essential in Securing U.S. Food Supply Chain.