Migrant Workers in the U.S. and China

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Migrant Workers in the U.S. and China Jose Loera Nevada State College Abstract Many migrant workers in the U.S. tend to work in the agricultural industry as farmworkers, while migrant workers from China leave their rural farms to work in larger urbanized cities. Though roles seem to be reversed between the two groups, they have many similarities. The migrant workers from both the U.S. and China have significant impacts on their countries’ respective economies. In the process, these migrant workers endure many challenges such as poor pay, sub-standard living conditions, and work-related health risks. Regardless, migrant workers take on these challenges in order to better the lives of their families and to pursue their dreams and aspirations. Without their labor, many of the simple amenities that we enjoy would be more costly to obtain or not be available at all. From the Chinese and Irish workers who helped build the first transcontinental railroad in the 1860’s to today’s farmworkers who picked the fruits and vegetables for the local buffet, migrant workers have always been weaved into the fabric of American society. In the United States, foreign-born workers make up an ample amount of the nation’s workforce and their contributions are vital to the overall U.S. economy. Other countries, such as China, also highly depend on migrant workers to contribute to the overall vitality of their nation’s economy. Over the past few decades, the urbanization of China’s coastal cities has been fast and furious. Though China’s migrant workers are mainly Chinese-born farmers from rural inland towns and villages, their challenges and ways of living are quite similar to those of the U.S. migrant worker. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 25 million foreign-born workers made up 15.8% of the U.S. labor force in 2010. This means that more than 1 in 7

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