Price Spread for Pork Products Increases as Processing Plant Labor Shortages Continue

Dan Labor and Immigration, Pork, USDA-ERS

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen longstanding labor shortages in the U.S. pork processing industry. Because the production of deboned products requires more labor, associated prices are higher than bone-in product prices, which have smaller labor requirements, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. When labor shortages are severe, as in the spring of 2020, when COVID-19-related infections of processing plant …


ERS Study Shows Meatpackers Role in COVID Spread

Dan Beef, Coronavirus, Livestock, Pork, Poultry, USDA-ERS

A study from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) shows the role meatpacking plants played in the spread of COVID-19. In what ERS describes as a working paper, the study outlined 49 U.S. non-metro counties in which 20 percent or more of employment is in meatpacking, defined as meatpacking-dependent counties. This represents 41 percent of all nonmetro counties with employment in …