Labor Issue Final Thoughts
Today we wrap up our look at labor issues with WSU's Karina Gallardo who says that due to economic growth in Mexico over the last several years more workers are staying home. In addition she says:
GALLARDO: The labor supply is showing signs of a decreasing tendency. Labor demand is relatively constant with an annual average of one-million workers since 2007. According to the experts, and you might disagree with this, but why this labor shortage has not yet happened like the real wages have not increased dramatically as they would have happened if a shortage happened and also the H2A has not increased at the levels that should have happened.
She says that fierce competition from other fruit producing countries is part of this mix. But she has some suggestions.
GALLARDO: Invest in labor saving technologies and invest in the guest worker program, in the H2A.
Apples, cherries, pear and grapes utilize 73% of the seasonal workers in the state.
GALLARDO: If the labor demand for apples also will increase by 1.7% yearly and all is constant, the acreage being added at the same pace it was added in the last 20 years with the density it has been added, nothing else changing the labor demand for apples will increase by 1.7% yearly.
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.