Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Unemployment Rate 10%--LOTS of "Americans" would pick fruit for $12 to $16 per hour...right??

An immigration crackdown in Washington State has decreased the number of migrant workers willing to pick various fruits grown in Washington.  An aggressive recruitment effort produced very few workers...They had to FLY in workers from Jamaica (yes, that is right, Jamaica)...Those wages are being paid to migrant workers...Why would unskilled, legal (by birth or immigration status) unemployed workers NOT want these jobs?  Anyone have any suggestions?

The fruits of our labor absurdity
""There was a moment when they first started calling this the "Great Recession," in 2008, that Steve Appel thought this might be the time.

Americans might come back to working on the farm.

"It's just common sense, with the depression and high unemployment and what not, that there ought to be local folks looking to come take some of these jobs," says Appel, 58, a wheat farmer in the Palouse in Eastern Washington. Nope. It hasn't happened. Farm jobs are going unfilled to such a degree that now a huge fruit orchard in Okanogan County, desperate for someone to pick cherries and apples this summer, has turned to flying in hundreds of workers from ... Jamaica.  That's right. From a Caribbean island more than 3,000 miles away.
"That's quite a statement, isn't it?" says Appel, who doubles as president of the Washington Farm Bureau...""
Washington State has the 2nd most generous unemployment compensation in the nation.  If someone took a fruit picking job they would actually LOSE money...Interesting dilemma...

HT: Carpe Diem
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