The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The results of a state survey released Tuesday suggest what Georgia farmers have been saying for weeks: there is a labor shortage in the state’s $69 billion agricultural industry.
Vino Wong, firstname.lastname@example.org State survey suggests that there is potentially a need to fill as many as 11,080 agricultural jobs this year in Georgia.
Georgia farmers who responded to the survey said they potentially need to fill as many as 11,080 jobs this year, some for one day and others for as long 12 months.
The state Agriculture Department’s survey, however, does not indicate what may be causing the shortage.
Gov. Nathan Deal asked for the survey last month after Georgia farmers complained the state’s tough new immigration enforcement law is scaring away the migrant Hispanic workers they depend on, potentially putting hundreds of millions of dollars in crops at risk.
“Responses suggest a degree of unmet labor needs this season,” Agricultural Commissioner Gary Black said in a letter he sent Deal about the survey results Friday.
Deal issued a statement Tuesday morning saying state officials are seeking to connect unemployed state probationers with farming jobs in Southwest Georgia. There are as many as 2,000 unemployed probationers in that region, Deal said.
“I believe this would be a great partial solution to our current status as we continue to move towards sustainable results with the legal options available,” Deal said.