Labor Issues

Labor Issues

Labor Force Issues. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

Karina Gallardo with WSU recently spoke to a group of tree fruit producers about the issues surrounding the labor workforce and why we have been seeing a crunch when it comes to labor.

GALLARDO: One of the reasons for this change in tendency, we're no longer seeing this rising, increasing the number of migrant labor to the U.S. there was economic growth in Latin America which is the main supplier for labor for the U.S. Economic growth and productivity. Fertility rates in Mexico dropped. The number of births per woman in Mexico is not a levels they were in the 1990's.

If that wasn't enough to slow the migrant flow there was also the border issue.

GALLARDO: Increased U.S./Mexico border enforcement - the U.S. government was spending more money in enforcement and preventing people from cross illegally the border. And the other one that is also important is that our labor force is aging. So the old tend to go out of agriculture and look for less physically intensive type of jobs.

She says that since 2004 the Mexican economy has been been growing faster than the U.S. and that is helping to keep more laborers at home. Plus Gallardo says there has been a per capita economic growth in Mexico and figures show that for every 1% of per capita growth the amount of migrant labor decreases by 7.9%.

That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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