Doing The Jobs Americans Won’t Do – 2

An interesting bit on the tomato harvester, and its impact on the labor market:

“Mechanical harvesting was controversial because it seemingly displaced human labor,” said Hartsough. “However, by reducing harvesting costs by nearly one half, the harvester eliminated an economic constraint on the U.S. processing tomato industry, resulting in large increases in tomato acreage and yield. Those increases, in turn, provided additional employment in field work, transportation and processing that more than offset the displaced harvesting jobs.”

Other possible impacts:

Because fewer people are needed for the tomato harvest, the labor force has also been restructured: “Male Mexican farm workers have been replaced by women from local communities who stand on the harvesting machines. Since these women are from local communities, it is possible that employment may have increased locally at the expense of the Mexicans” (Busch 142). Other interested scholars have debated this claim.

Other thoughts on the subject.  Hmmm…..


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