The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl (a period of drought that destroyed millions of acres of farmland) forced white farmers to sell their farms and become migrant workers who traveled from farm to farm to pick fruit and other crops at starvation wages.
What was life like for migrant workers in 1930s?
Many migrants set up camp along the irrigation ditches of the farms they were working, which led to overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions. They lived in tents and out of the backs of cars and trucks. The working hours were long, and many children worked in the fields with their parents.
Who were the migrant workers during the Great Depression?
Although the Dust Bowl included many Great Plains states, the migrants were generically known as “Okies,” referring to the approximately 20 percent who were from Oklahoma. The migrants represented in Voices from the Dust Bowl came primarily from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri.
How much did migrant workers make in the 1930s?
Migrant workers in California who had been making 35 cents per hour in 1928 made only 14 cents per hour in 1933. Sugar beet workers in Colorado saw their wages decrease from $27 an acre in 1930 to $12.37 an acre three years later.
What did migrant workers eat in the 1930s?
Migrant families primarily subsisted on starch-based foods like potatoes, biscuits, and fried dough that would fill them up enough to complete a day’s work in the fields. The estimated annual income of agricultural workers was $450 per family.
How many people migrated to California in the 1930s?
The exact number of Dust Bowl refugees remains a matter of controversy, but by some estimates, as many as 400,000 migrants headed west to California during the 1930s, according to Christy Gavin and Garth Milam, writing in California State University, Bakersfield’s Dust Bowl Migration Archives.
Which country has the most migrant workers?
An estimated 14 million foreign workers live in the United States, which draws most of its immigrants from Mexico, including 4 or 5 million undocumented workers. It is estimated that around 5 million foreign workers live in Northwestern Europe, half a million in Japan, and around 5 million in Saudi Arabia.
How many hours do migrant workers work?
USDA’s Agricultural Labor Survey and the NAWS suggest that most California farm workers are employed between 43 and 45 hours a week. Three types of workers, livestock (dairy) workers, irrigators, and equipment operators, often work more than 40 hours a week, with some regularly exceeding 60 hours.
How were the migrant workers affected by the Great Depression?
How did the Great Depression effect the migrant worker? … Migrant workers were subjected to harsher working conditions and lower wages because people were desperate for work. Workers were replaceable. Too many people looking for work reduced living conditions.