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This Is Uncomfortable
China 70

The lucky migrant workers who get to retire in Beijing

by Jennifer Pak Oct 4, 2019
While many people move away from the countryside for work, few of them are able to officially register in the cities.
A man sells dream catchers in Beijing. Few migrant workers from the countryside can stay in the city long term.
Photo courtesy of Shanghai 808 Studio

Why it's the "nonfarm" payrolls report

by Mitchell Hartman May 1, 2019
The Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report doesn't count jobs down on the farm. We explain why.
Farmworkers pull weeds in a spinach field near El Centro, California, in January.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

In China’s big cities, tenants feel the squeeze of rising rents

by Jennifer Pak Feb 13, 2019
Migrant workers like Ren Zhongyang work hard to earn money in Shanghai but struggle to find affordable rental homes there.
Migrant workers like Ren Zhongyang work hard to earn money in Shanghai but struggle to find affordable rental homes in Shanghai.
Charles Zhang

As farmworkers grow scarce, wages are on the rise

by Kai Ryssdal Mar 23, 2017
But that's not attracting native-born American laborers to the fields yet, L.A. Times reporter says.
California farmers face such tight labor pools that some are replacing grapes with almonds, which require much less human labor.
John Moore/Getty Images

Farm workers face shortage of decent, affordable homes

by Kristofor Husted Feb 4, 2016
About three-quarters of hired crop workers work within 75 miles from home.
Former migrant farmworker Angel Castro stands in front of a trailer where he used to live, in a neighborhood that still houses many immigrant farmworkers.
Kristofor Husted

Secrets of the Christmas tree lot

by Ike Sriskandarajah Dec 17, 2014
The Vermont family selling that Christmas tree in Brooklyn? They didn't grow it. A big tree farm did.

Border towns hit hard as fewer migrants cross

by Jude Joffe-Block Apr 28, 2014
Fewer migrants crossing Arizona’s border mean a slump for towns that relied on the smuggling economy.

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Migrant workers sending more money home

by Nancy Marshall-Genzer Sep 24, 2012
Despite rough economic times, remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean were up 8 percent from 2010 to 2011.