California News

May 11, 2013 8:19 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Labor shortage prompts growers to boost wages

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Concerns of a potential farm labor shortage are prompting San Joaquin Valley growers to boost the wages they pay to farmworkers.

The Fresno Bee reports (http://bit.ly/19cs5Ws ) that with the labor pool already tight and warmer-than-normal temperatures increasing the demand for workers because crops like cherries, blueberries and tree fruit are ripening all at the same time, growers are offering up to $10 an hour for the harvest season.

The newspaper says wages are about $1 to a $1.50 higher compared to last year, and could continue to rise as the season progresses.

In September 2012, the average hourly earnings for San Joaquin Valley farmworkers rose to $12.09 during the peak of the harvest season.

Officials told The Bee that tighter border security, increased smuggling costs for immigrants and drug-related violence are contributing to fewer people entering the U.S. to work in the fields.

Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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