Thu Dec 5th, 2013 at 10:44:38 AM EST
A few hopeful signs that this period we live in, where a large pool of labour has entered the world economy and as a by-product put "capital" in an incredibly strong position can come to an end:
Farmers Face Labor Shortages As Workers Find Other Jobs
FRESNO, Calif. -- With the harvest in full swing on the West Coast, farmers in California and other states say they can't find enough people to pick high value crops such as grapes, peppers, apples and pears.
In some cases, workers have walked off fields in the middle of harvest, lured by offers of better pay or easier work elsewhere.
The shortage and competition for workers means labor expenses have climbed, harvests are getting delayed and less fruit and vegetable products are being picked, prompting some growers to say their income is suffering. Experts say, however, the shortage is not expected to affect prices for consumers.
But farmworkers, whose incomes are some of the lowest in the nation, have benefited, their wages jumping in California to $2 to $3 over the $8 hourly minimum wage and even more for those working piece rate.
The shortage - driven by a struggling U.S. economy, more jobs in Mexico, and bigger hurdles to illegal border crossings - has led some farmers to offer unusual incentives: they're buying meals for their workers, paying for transportation to and from fields, even giving bonuses to those who stay for the whole season.
front-paged by afew
And further into the piece (my emphasis):
For years, farmers throughout the U.S. had access to an abundant, cheap, mostly unauthorized labor force streaming in from Mexico. Workers say they often had to beg growers for even a few hours of work and their wages were low.
As the U.S. plunged into a recession and Mexico's economy improved, some seasonal migrant workers chose to remain home.
Increased border security and drug cartel violence made crossings more dangerous and expensive, deterring workers. A sharp drop in Mexico's fertility rate further decreased the number of young men crossing into the U.S. to work in the fields.
The trend appears long-lasting, spelling trouble for farmers, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center. While the recession is over, the report finds, mass migration from Mexico has not resumed.