WAFLA Review of 2016 Pt 2

WAFLA Review of 2016 Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Ag labor had an eventful 2016 and there's likely to be more developments in 2017.

The biggest change from last year was the voter-approved minimum wage hike that's dragging agriculture along for the ride...

DAN FAZIO ... "Another big story and a story that played prominently in the election I think of Donald Trump was the issue of regulations. Of course, we had lots of wage and hour type of regulations. President-elect Trump wants to roll back regulations in the wage and hour area, job killing regulations. And I think most people are on board with that."

WAFLA president Dan Fazio says regulations aside, it won't matter if they can't find people to do the work ...

DAN FAZIO ... "The other big story that we follow is the labor shortage. The fact is there aren't enough workers who are willing to do the hard jobs, the jobs that require a lot of manual labor like agriculture, landscaping, reforestation, and other jobs in the natural resource industry that are necessary in our economy."

And then, Fazio says, comes the employers ability to pay them ...

DAN FAZIO ... "Naturally wages are going up those areas for jobs called low-skill jobs. I don't think of them as low-skill jobs. I just think of them as hard, manual labor jobs. We hope Congress can do something to make it easier for us to bring workers in here to come do those jobs legally."

More on WAFLA's year-end thoughts about how regulations impact farm labor tomorrow.

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