Friday, June 13, 2008

Immigrants move from construction to farmwork

The ability of the US economy to respond to shocks depends in part on it resiliency, which is driven in part by labor mobility (earlier blog entry on how housing crisis is reducing mobility)
Mexican emigrant Jose Peralta, 24 years old, was a field hand when he arrived in California six years ago. Four years ago, he moved into construction, earning about $11 an hour erecting condos in Newport Beach, Calif. Three months ago, work became sporadic, and wages fell to about $9 an hour. "There was little work in construction, so I went back to the strawberry fields," he said, where he earns about $9. Still, he said, "I prefer to be in construction."

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