Growers predict abundant labor

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009

STATEWIDE When the time comes this June to pick his strawberries, Mike Christensen is not quite sure who will be in the fields.

But with the economy in a shambles and jobs in short supply, growers like Christensen, who owns a 250-acre strawberry farm in the Willamette Valley and is chairman of the Oregon Strawberry Commission, could benefit from a larger supply of available workers.

The harvest of Oregon’s valuable tree fruit and berry crop is months away, so it’s typically a grower’s best guess how much labor will be on hand for the tough work of picking. “A shortage of labor should generally not be a problem this year,” says state labor economist Art Ayre.

In the last three years growers have seen a labor shortage of up to 25%, according to the Columbia Gorge Fruit Growers. The healthier economy provided more desirable job opportunities to field workers, says Jean Godfrey, executive director of the group. But this year, growers expect many of those workers who left for better jobs to return to field work, especially those from construction.

But Christensen anticipates more working-age high school and college students seeking summer work this year, and worries about seeing a return of the migrant labor that he has come to depend on, many of whom he says have left the state.

Godfrey thinks otherwise. “We just do not see urban unemployed workers willing to come out here,” she says.

JASON SHUFFLER

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Which Way to Chinatown?

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

The Jade International District, already Portland's center of Asian life, is poised for rejuvenation. Where does that leave the westside's historic Chinatown?


Read more...

A legislative preview — and celebration

Linda Baker
Friday, January 23, 2015
012315-speaker-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Northwest Environmental Business Council previews the 2015 legislative agenda as Hatch Oregon celebrates Oregon's new community crowdfunding rules.


Read more...

6 chiefs of staff dish on their bosses

The Latest
Thursday, February 05, 2015
legilistiblog-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask chiefs of staff for the scoop on Oregon legislators.


Read more...

100 Best: The Power of the Worker

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
AND AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Technology is empowering people like never before and transforming how employees interact in the workplace. How can companies attract and keep staff engaged in this rapidly changing world?


Read more...

The week journalism died

Linda Baker
Sunday, February 15, 2015
deadjournalismthumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

As the investigation against the governor moves forward, those of us in the news business should reflect on our own potential for subverting the democratic process.


Read more...

5 companies react to lower fuel prices

The Latest
Thursday, January 15, 2015
thumb-shutterstock 233787049BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Consumers love the savings they get from low oil prices, but how has business been affected?


Read more...

All Rise

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS