Monday, August 20, 2012

Plenty of Jobs Available in California

Yes, a shocker to me as well.  It seems there must be something else else going on with unemployment other than a lack of jobs. 

There's a different sort of drought plaguing California, the nation's largest farm state. It’s [sic] $38 billion agricultural sector is facing a scarcity of labor.

The Western Growers Association told CNBC its members are reporting a 20 percent drop in laborers this year.

There is no need for demand created by government spending; no need for extended jobless benefits.  The jobs are available, and these aren’t minimum wage – paying the greater of $9.25 / hr. or $5.00 per bucket for peppers, for example.

Surely there must be a rush to fill these jobs.  Let’s ask a local farmer:

When asked if any local residents have come out to apply to work in the fields, Craig Underwood replied, "None. Absolutely none." He is even having trouble finding truck drivers and other semi-skilled labor for jobs that pay $12-$18 an hour.

Eighteen dollars an hour?!?!  Where is Jerry Brown?  Where is Barack Obama?  Why aren’t they extolling the virtues of good solid employment, instead of making matters worse by increasing taxes and spending?

The industry lost many workers to home construction during the housing boom, but those workers have not returned.

One more consequence of the Greenspan bubble, it seems.

Well, this situation will resolve itself – let’s check in with Craig again:

While standing in a field of peppers, Underwood realizes even if he doesn't have enough labor to pick his crop, Americans will still have food.

"It'll just be grown in Mexico," he said. "Or China."


  1. Odd, indeed. I thought we were supposed to be willing to accept unregulated, unlimited immigration (without all that pesky law stuff) because an open-door policy would provide us with lots of fieldhands, toilet scrubbers, and other workers for menial jobs that Americans are either too ashamed or too haughty to do.

    So what kinds of jobs are the vast numbers of illegal immigrants willing to do these days, if not farm work? That is the number one reason they're welcomed, if you listen to politicians who are trying to tell the bigots to shut up. Perhaps McCain and Grahamnesty should order all those illegals to haul their fannies to the fields, posthaste, and do their duty to the American taxpayer.

    Maybe illegal immigrants are finding that the welfare state in California offers a standard of living that is just better enough than what they left in Mexico to make working in the fields unappealing.

    Or maybe they are able to get better-paying jobs in more comfortable work conditions because the risk of being identified as an illegal is of little consequence. But our politicians have all assured us that illegals only take those jobs that Americans won't do. Therefore, they can't possibly have moved up the social ladder to compete with Americans for jobs.

    So where is that abundant and unending supply of Mexican illegals who will work the fields for us for all time? It's a mystery to me.

  2. As the poster above pointed out, even illegals seem to be not willing to do these jobs at the wages paid, so obviously the answer is for the US farmers to either

    Raise wages and or improve working conditions to get workers

    Increase the use of mechanization so the won't need as many workers because the remaining workers are more productive

    1. Certainly these are two valid options. However, what strikes me is that - with unemployment so high - there are no takers.

      So a third option could be for Brown and Obama to reduce the earnings associated with not working.