Adjusting to Higher Labor Costs in Selected U.S. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Industries

This report examines how U.S. producers of selected labor-intensive fresh fruit and vegetables are addressing the rising costs of labor. Farm labor costs increased from 2010-19 for several reasons, including fewer newly-arrived unauthorized workers, rising State minimum wages, and new requirements to pay overtime wages to some farm workers.

COVID-19 Economic Implications for Agriculture, Food, and Rural America: Food and Consumers

July 12, 2022 USDA ERS

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led to significant changes in U.S. consumers’ food spending patterns in early 2020, with a return to pre-pandemic spending patterns that continued through 2021. While closures of restaurants and nonessential businesses contributed to record unemployment increases during March and April 2020, unemployment fell to below pre-pandemic levels by December 2021. Although income and employment improved, some U.S. households continue to face difficulties obtaining adequate food, particularly in the face of increasing food prices.

Wholesale Beef Costs Rose as Cattle Prices Dropped During Supply-Chain Disruptions in 2020

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant disruption to U.S. meat supply chains in the spring and summer of 2020, according to a recent USDA, Economic Research Service report.

Consumers’ Interpretation of Food Labels with Production Claims Can Influence Purchases

Food labels can help consumers select products with attributes they value that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to verify, such as whether a package of chicken at the grocery store was raised without antibiotics. To make informed product choices, however, consumers must be able to properly interpret food labels. In some cases, consumers may not fully understand a label’s meaning or a food label may conjure perceptions that lack scientific backing or are against scientific consensus.

Food Taxes Linked With Spending Habits of Lower Income Households

State and local governments typically levy a sales tax on purchases of clothes, computers, automobiles, and other products. Foods purchased at grocery stores, supercenters, and other retail venues are exempt from these sales taxes in 32 States and Washington, D.C. States and counties that tax food at home (FAH) are mostly in the Southeast and Midwest, such as Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Dakota.