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labor shortages and unemployment

Dittohead not!

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I was listening to the radio a few minutes ago, to a discussion of immigration reform and how the agricultural industry depends on "undocumented workers" to bring in the crops. If immigration reform doesn't pass in some form, the growers are afraid of labor shortages and crops left in the fields for lack of workers.

Meanwhile, unemployment is seen as a serious problem still.

So, how is it that we can have labor shortages and high unemployment at the same time? It seems to me that the system has to be badly out of whack for that to happen.
 

CalGun

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As one who has worked in the fields it's quite easy to understand. The people get free food, section 8 housing, an obamaphone and soon pretty much free health care why the hell would they work? Especially hard work!

I was listening to the radio a few minutes ago, to a discussion of immigration reform and how the agricultural industry depends on "undocumented workers" to bring in the crops. If immigration reform doesn't pass in some form, the growers are afraid of labor shortages and crops left in the fields for lack of workers.

Meanwhile, unemployment is seen as a serious problem still.

So, how is it that we can have labor shortages and high unemployment at the same time? It seems to me that the system has to be badly out of whack for that to happen.
 

Dittohead not!

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As one who has worked in the fields it's quite easy to understand. The people get free food, section 8 housing, an obamaphone and soon pretty much free health care why the hell would they work? Especially hard work!
As another who has worked in the fields, I can see where people would want to get something easier. As long as the freebies you mention are still available, there will continue to be jobs that Americans won't do.

But, they used to.
 

ttwtt78640

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I was listening to the radio a few minutes ago, to a discussion of immigration reform and how the agricultural industry depends on "undocumented workers" to bring in the crops. If immigration reform doesn't pass in some form, the growers are afraid of labor shortages and crops left in the fields for lack of workers.

Meanwhile, unemployment is seen as a serious problem still.

So, how is it that we can have labor shortages and high unemployment at the same time? It seems to me that the system has to be badly out of whack for that to happen.
Migrant farm labor is not a job for everyone. You usually must be willing to live in a labor camp, your truck or a motel to do it. This work is physically demanding (both the actual work and the working conditions), hourly pay is variable (based on production) and each job/location is temporary.
 

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Some migrant ag workers actually do it the legal way and come on Ag worker visas.

It's hard physical labor. Too many US citizens view physical labor as beneath them, unfortunately.
 

Dittohead not!

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Migrant farm labor is not a job for everyone. You usually must be willing to live in a labor camp, your truck or a motel to do it. This work is physically demanding (both the actual work and the working conditions), hourly pay is variable (based on production) and each job/location is temporary.
All that is so, which makes following the crops a difficult career choice. On the other hand, all it requires is a strong back and a tolerance for hard work and heat. It would seem to me to be a perfect fit for the high school dropouts who aren't qualified for anything else, and just might encourage them to become qualified for something less back breaking.

But, as long as the alternative is to continue to eat while not working at all, we'll still have the paradox of labor shortages at a time of high unemployment.
 

ttwtt78640

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All that is so, which makes following the crops a difficult career choice. On the other hand, all it requires is a strong back and a tolerance for hard work and heat. It would seem to me to be a perfect fit for the high school dropouts who aren't qualified for anything else, and just might encourage them to become qualified for something less back breaking.

But, as long as the alternative is to continue to eat while not working at all, we'll still have the paradox of labor shortages at a time of high unemployment.
Great point! Far easier stay at home as long as possible (age 26?), get a student loan and lounge on campus for a few years or apply for social "safety net" benefits (after popping out that "qualification" baby). ;)
 

Dittohead not!

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It seems to me that the current generation, and perhaps at least one before, have become soft and dependent on government rather than starting with hard work and moving up the social ladder.

My first job was hauling hay, back before the job of "haying" as it was called was mechanized, and the job required picking up bales that would weigh from 40-60 pounds or so, stacking them on a flatbed, then riding on top of the load as it was hauled to the barn to hand load and hand stack the bales once again. I've also worked in peaches, which is the worst due to being up and down a ladder all day and getting peach fuzz and juice all over you, and in the grapes, which is also hot and hard work. Picking peaches paid pretty well, too, if you were good at it. Pickers were paid by the box.

I couldn't do that sort of work any more, at least not for long, without my body protesting and quitting, but, back then, I was more flexible.

But, you don't see the youth even considering such work any more. Have they really gone soft, do they consider such work beneath them, or is it just that it's too easy not to work at all?
 

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I was listening to the radio a few minutes ago, to a discussion of immigration reform and how the agricultural industry depends on "undocumented workers" to bring in the crops. If immigration reform doesn't pass in some form, the growers are afraid of labor shortages and crops left in the fields for lack of workers.

Meanwhile, unemployment is seen as a serious problem still.

So, how is it that we can have labor shortages and high unemployment at the same time? It seems to me that the system has to be badly out of whack for that to happen.
It's a one word answer, Welfare.
 

ttwtt78640

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It's a one word answer, Welfare.
The difference between a lazy, slacking moron and a needy family is simply having a dependent child.

We are doing it all for the good of the children - don't you know that? ;)
 

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Some of the low crop pickers have pretty short careers in the fields because of the toll on their bodies.
 

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I was listening to the radio a few minutes ago, to a discussion of immigration reform and how the agricultural industry depends on "undocumented workers" to bring in the crops. If immigration reform doesn't pass in some form, the growers are afraid of labor shortages and crops left in the fields for lack of workers.

Meanwhile, unemployment is seen as a serious problem still.

So, how is it that we can have labor shortages and high unemployment at the same time? It seems to me that the system has to be badly out of whack for that to happen.
Most people live in cities. Agricultural work is not exactly a viable option.
 

Rainman05

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It seems to me that the current generation, and perhaps at least one before, have become soft and dependent on government rather than starting with hard work and moving up the social ladder.

My first job was hauling hay, back before the job of "haying" as it was called was mechanized, and the job required picking up bales that would weigh from 40-60 pounds or so, stacking them on a flatbed, then riding on top of the load as it was hauled to the barn to hand load and hand stack the bales once again. I've also worked in peaches, which is the worst due to being up and down a ladder all day and getting peach fuzz and juice all over you, and in the grapes, which is also hot and hard work. Picking peaches paid pretty well, too, if you were good at it. Pickers were paid by the box.

I couldn't do that sort of work any more, at least not for long, without my body protesting and quitting, but, back then, I was more flexible.

But, you don't see the youth even considering such work any more. Have they really gone soft, do they consider such work beneath them, or is it just that it's too easy not to work at all?
Well...

Once the seeds of the industrial revolution were planted, the decline of agriculture as a job career for the masses was inevitable. Today, 3-4% of the population of a developed country should work in agriculture while the rest in something else. As technology progresses and automated processes and work robots develop, that % will be reduced even further. And as we move into the new economical paradigm, the industries and manufacturing businesses will also have maybe... 6-8% of the population working in such fields? Maybe less... and on the assembly line, almost nobody. Because robots will do that.

So we have the jobs of the future that will require more and more education... which may lead to a change in the way we view education and how we approach it.

You can't expect people to value agricultural work the same way people did 30 years ago. While I don't discourage the idea of children to participate with their parents and/or grandparents in home labour like i did when I was young ( all sort of stuff, tend to an orchard, cut the grass with a scythe, i know apiculture, pick grapes and make wine... and a lot more) it is merely a recreational activity and should be viewed as such. Not as a serious activity. Something like a game.

And the fact that unskilled labour force still is allowed to come in and flood the job market is damaging progress in the agricultural domain. Especially cheap labor. The govt should offer grants to large farmhouses to modernize their farming methods and comply with eco-friendly standards and nutritional food, and hence, cut down on jobs in the agricultural field. you would also discourage illegal immigration and discourage people from hiring illegal immigrants on crap pay.
 

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Well...

Once the seeds of the industrial revolution were planted, the decline of agriculture as a job career for the masses was inevitable. Today, 3-4% of the population of a developed country should work in agriculture while the rest in something else. As technology progresses and automated processes and work robots develop, that % will be reduced even further. And as we move into the new economical paradigm, the industries and manufacturing businesses will also have maybe... 6-8% of the population working in such fields? Maybe less... and on the assembly line, almost nobody. Because robots will do that.

So we have the jobs of the future that will require more and more education... which may lead to a change in the way we view education and how we approach it.

You can't expect people to value agricultural work the same way people did 30 years ago. While I don't discourage the idea of children to participate with their parents and/or grandparents in home labour like i did when I was young ( all sort of stuff, tend to an orchard, cut the grass with a scythe, i know apiculture, pick grapes and make wine... and a lot more) it is merely a recreational activity and should be viewed as such. Not as a serious activity. Something like a game.

And the fact that unskilled labour force still is allowed to come in and flood the job market is damaging progress in the agricultural domain. Especially cheap labor. The govt should offer grants to large farmhouses to modernize their farming methods and comply with eco-friendly standards and nutritional food, and hence, cut down on jobs in the agricultural field. you would also discourage illegal immigration and discourage people from hiring illegal immigrants on crap pay.


Farming is not a game
Gov providing farm labor housing, WTF?
 

Goshin

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I was listening to the radio a few minutes ago, to a discussion of immigration reform and how the agricultural industry depends on "undocumented workers" to bring in the crops. If immigration reform doesn't pass in some form, the growers are afraid of labor shortages and crops left in the fields for lack of workers.

Meanwhile, unemployment is seen as a serious problem still.

So, how is it that we can have labor shortages and high unemployment at the same time? It seems to me that the system has to be badly out of whack for that to happen.


Because they'd have to pay a lot better to get most Americans to take a job as a picker or farm worker.

In my day, it was mostly done by teenagers and poor minorities. Depending on which peach baron you were talking about, they'd have a picking crew that was mostly local black folks, or possibly Jamaicans, or Mexicans. Mix in some teens of any race who needed a summer job and there you were.

It's hard work outdoors in the heat and weather and it has never paid very well.... but it USED to be done by mostly Americans in my area.

Small to mid-size farmers feel the crunch because the middlemen distributors do not pay them that well for their produce, which they then distribute to grocery chains and whatnot at a substantial profit.


Blame Monsanto, blame the big food distribution corps, blame the grocery stores.... the farmer's profit margin is so narrow he can't afford to pay pickers and laborers very well.


Nowadays, people seem less inclined to supplement their welfare payments with summer farm work, and teenagers are less inclined to sweat out in the summer heat doing hard labor. :shrug:


All this could be changed but it would take some doing.
 

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Farming is not a game
Gov providing farm labor housing, WTF?
Farming is not a game. It's a business. involving children and teens into house labors (including some farm labors) is a game and should be treated as such.

Gov providing farm labor housing? where did I say that? No, by all means, no. It should provide grants for farms to modernize their production facilities so that they are as eco-friendly as possible and produce the most nutritional food possible. And if you modernize, you hire less illegals.
 

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Take away all the welfare and other safety net programs and many more poor people who are USA citizens will be forced to take agricultural jobs to survive. It will mostly be the same demographic of people who used to be slaves historically who will become the new de facto slaves. Or there will be a rebellion.

Just sayin'.
 

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Or we could pay enough for the agricultural work and improve some of the conditions so that people with choices, rather than only desperate immigrants, will choose to work those jobs, but that will mean paying more for our food. Are we willing? I think the workers deserve it.
 

ttwtt78640

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You go where the jobs are. If illegals can make their way through the desert from a foreign country a welfare queen in a city can make her way to an agricultural area
Illegals are a bit smarter than that, they generally send the "baby daddy" into the fields and leave mom and the brood in a more comfortable environment. ;)
 

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Or we could pay enough for the agricultural work and improve some of the conditions so that people with choices, rather than only desperate immigrants, will choose to work those jobs, but that will mean paying more for our food. Are we willing? I think the workers deserve it.
Exactly! make it an 8 hour day, with OT pay... raise the pay to a higher level... have a lot more watering stations out there.. have decent temporary housing .... All things that will raise our food prices, but that will also make these jobs more appealing to people who have other options.

And no, I'm not talking welfare. I'm talking jobs at fast food places that pay better than farm jobs pay.

Still wondering how someone from a city is supposed to find their way to an agricultural job, though. Hop a bus and say "take me to the farms, driver"? Or do we want to start having the farmers (well, farm contractors) send buses into the cities and pick people up? Again, they are going to have to offer more money than they're doing right now. And provide housing since those young people will be away from their parents' houses.

Just remember a lot of the unemployed aren't young people; they are in their 30s, 40s, 50 and have been "downsized", "rightsized", "rif'd" out of their jobs and then told because they're unemployed they can't apply for new jobs that open up...

This economy sucks. And some simplistic "they should all go work for the summer for farmers" isn't going to fix it.
 

Dittohead not!

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Still wondering how someone from a city is supposed to find their way to an agricultural job, though. Hop a bus and say "take me to the farms, driver"? Or do we want to start having the farmers (well, farm contractors) send buses into the cities and pick people up? Again, they are going to have to offer more money than they're doing right now. And provide housing since those young people will be away from their parents' houses.
If Jesus from a hamlet somewhere in Guadalajara can sneak past the Migra and find his way to the fields, why can't a city dweller who is a citizen and can come and go as he/she pleases without having to hide from the authorities?

Plus, many growers do provide housing for their temporary workers. That's more than any city employer is willing to do.

Just remember a lot of the unemployed aren't young people; they are in their 30s, 40s, 50 and have been "downsized", "rightsized", "rif'd" out of their jobs and then told because they're unemployed they can't apply for new jobs that open up...

This economy sucks. And some simplistic "they should all go work for the summer for farmers" isn't going to fix it.
No, but it would be a start, particularly for the ones who are young enough to do hard labor and who need an incentive to better their job skills.
 

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Exactly! make it an 8 hour day, with OT pay... raise the pay to a higher level... have a lot more watering stations out there.. have decent temporary housing .... All things that will raise our food prices, but that will also make these jobs more appealing to people who have other options.

And no, I'm not talking welfare. I'm talking jobs at fast food places that pay better than farm jobs pay.

Still wondering how someone from a city is supposed to find their way to an agricultural job, though. Hop a bus and say "take me to the farms, driver"? Or do we want to start having the farmers (well, farm contractors) send buses into the cities and pick people up? Again, they are going to have to offer more money than they're doing right now. And provide housing since those young people will be away from their parents' houses.

Just remember a lot of the unemployed aren't young people; they are in their 30s, 40s, 50 and have been "downsized", "rightsized", "rif'd" out of their jobs and then told because they're unemployed they can't apply for new jobs that open up...

This economy sucks. And some simplistic "they should all go work for the summer for farmers" isn't going to fix it.
Farm jobs are easy to find, the trouble is Americans find it easier to stay on welfare than do farm labor.

"That data is interesting, because it describes the labor market before any immigrant workers are recruited. That, as Clemens says, “allows us to assess the willingness of native workers to take farm jobs before they can even be offered to foreign workers, meaning that this study does not miss any impact caused by people who self-select out of an area or occupation because of competition with foreign workers.”

That willingness, he finds, is basically nonexistent. Every year from 1998 to 2012, at least 130,000 North Carolinians were unemployed. Of those, the number who asked to be referred to NCGA was never above 268 (and that number was only reached in 2011, when 489,095 North Carolinians were unemployed). The share of unemployed asking for referrals never breached 0.09 percent.

When native unemployed people are referred to NCGA, they’re almost without exception hired; between 1998 and 2011, 97 percent of referred applicants were hired. But they don’t tend to last. In 2011, 245 people were hired out of 268 referred, but only 163 (66.5 percent) of the hired applicants actually showed up to the first day of work. Worse, only seven lasted to the end of the growing season:"


North Carolina needed 6,500 farm workers. Only 7 Americans stuck it out.
 

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As one who has worked in the fields it's quite easy to understand. The people get free food, section 8 housing, an obamaphone and soon pretty much free health care why the hell would they work? Especially hard work!
First of all, you have not worked in the fields. If you did work in the fields you would have noted that working in the fields is among the most hazardous lines of work that is actually insurable by worker's comp. Private insurers won't cover farm laborers because of the severe threat of injury, heat stroke, and death.

Plenty of people sign up for construction work even though it is also hazardous. The problem with farming is that farmers make their workplaces incredibly dangerous by intentional neglect - something you can't get away with in construction. That's why a SELECT FEW private insurers will cover workers comp for ROOFERS but NONE will cover farming.

THAT is why people don't want to work in the farms. You get DEAD too easily.

Second of all, your welfare and obamaphones and section 8 nonsense are outright lies. You have a lifetime cap of 5 years for welfare. Also Obamaphones are NOT obamaphones. The program you're talking about dates back to REAGAN and BUSH. Section 8 housing is in very short supply so very few people get in, even those who are poor. As for free health care, every other civilized nation has it.

Enough of the lies.
 
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