With the nation's unemployment rate rising above 9.5 percent and almost 15 million American workers looking for a job, many of them are turning to fruit orchards and vegetable fields to make ends meet. Farmers report that former farm workers and first-timers are filling up some of the seasonal jobs.
Open borders groups claim that the federal government needs to import foreign workers because farm work is a job Americans won't do. But in the current job market, U.S. citizens are looking for any way to make money.
"We're having a great many more applicants this year than we have had in the past," said Dan Bremer, president of AgWorks, in a USA Today artcle.
A report from the Colorado Department of Labor reveals that only 39 U.S. workers applied for 171 farm opening last summer, but this spring, 1,799 U.S. workers applied for 726 openings in the state.
"With the higher unemployment rate, we have workers who are willing to consider jobs that in the past they might not have been willing to do," said Larry Lemmons who works for the Colorado labor department.
The number of American workers applying for these jobs is unusual. According to Craig Regelbrugge of the American Nursery and Landscape Association about 70 percent of the nation's 1.6 million farmworkers are likely in the country illegally and using fake documents to secure the jobs.
For more on this story, see USA Today.
Updated: Tue, Jul 14th 2009 @ 1:46pm EDT