Farmworker Shortages Hurting Maine’s Farms

ICYMI – This article in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram highlights how a lack of farmworkers is harming some of Maine’s farms.

Maine’s unemployment rate has remained below 4% since December 2015, resulting in a widely reported labor crisis, particularly in the hospitality sector.   Shortages in agriculture, construction, and healthcare have gotten less press, but they are acute.

Unless Congress acts, the administration’s decision to end TPS for Haitians, Salvadorans, and Hondurans, among others, and to rescind the DACA program will ultimately lead to a loss of a million workers from the U.S. labor supply, many of whom work in sectors hard hit by labor shortages.

The Press Herald article sheds a light on the real costs to Maine’s farmers of insufficient U.S. workers coupled with a complicated, expensive and slow immigration system that is often inadequate to the task of supplying needed seasonal workers.   Due to the administration’s immigration policies, the problem is sure to get worse.