Volume 44, Number 175,
October-December 2013
The Emerging Phenomenon
of Unemployed Agricultural Day Laborers
Antonieta Barrón

By analyzing the behavior of the harvested land over a decade by working days, it becomes clear that it has not grown in ten years, even as technological change has displaced more labor. For example, in 1991, 122 working days per hectare (Zuloaga et al., 1994) were required for tomato production. This number increased to 199 in 2010, despite the fact that the harvested area of the tomato fell by 22.5 thousand hectares, working days increased. With 199 working days in this time period, the demand for working days rose from 839,365 to 1,489,861. In a ten year period, tomato labor grew by 650,496 days.

On average, production volume increased in this period by 2%, as the growth rate for salaried workers was 0.92%, which is evidence of a deficit in demand, although supply cannot be directly measured.

It has already been said that rural-rural migration arises from the presence of labor markets that demand a workforce, because the concentration of labor-intensive crops determines the conformation of agricultural labor markets- When demand exceeds the local supply, the gap is bridged with migrant labor from some of the most backward regions of the country. Agricultural labor markets are therefore formed where labor-intensive crops are grown.

Eight states in Mexico generate more than half of the value of agricultural production (54%). In order of importance, they are as follows: Sinaloa, Michoacán, Veracruz, Jalisco, Sonora, Chiapas, Chihuahua and the State of Mexico. They mainly produce: corn, beans, sorghum, alfalfa and fodder oats, as well as tomatoes, chili peppers, potatoes, avocados, mangos, nuts, apples, pineapple and citrus fruits. They also produce crops that require industrial processing like sugar cane, copra, coffee beans and cacao (Claridades Agropecuarias, 2007).

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PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 195 October-December 2018 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
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