Domestic Labor Hard to Find

Domestic labor for agricultural jobs is increasingly hard to find, many farmers report, despite continuing unemployment and an overall sluggish economic recovery.
For the past several years, farmers across the country have noted a steady decline in available farm labor. With the farm sector booming and harvests increasing, famers have needed more and more employees to tend their crops.
However, recent immigration policies put into place in several states have made it increasingly difficult for farmers to find needed labor. In places like Arizona and Alabama, for example, tough new immigration laws have led to a steep decline in available farm workers. Both states have suffered from millions of dollars in lost revenues because of these declines.
Efforts to recruit domestic farm labor have also come up short, many farms are reporting. Despite high unemployment rates, many US citizens are unwilling to work agricultural jobs. We have had a few people who have tried to get on a work crew,” said one Florida farmer. “But they either don’t come back after the first day or they fake an illness or an injury. There is plenty of work to do on the farms,” he added. “There seems to be nobody out there who will do it.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer