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Labor Shortage

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By Ted Shelsby and Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF | November 17, 2000
CHESTERTOWN - A serious shortage of workers is forcing some Maryland farmers to watch their crops rot in the field and is forcing some seafood packers out of business, state officials said yesterday. "It's a critical situation," Hank Passi, chairman of the Maryland Agricultural Commission said of the shortage. "More and more farms will go out of business because they can't get workers." "The seafood industry is dying because of a labor shortage," Paul L. Gunther, a University of Maryland cooperative extension agent, told members of the commission during their two-day tour of farm operations in Kent and Queen Anne's counties.
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NEWS
By William E. Gibson and Ruth Morris and William E. Gibson and Ruth Morris,Florida Sun-Sentinel | August 11, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Employers warned yesterday that the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal immigration could prompt firings, discourage hiring and send some growers overseas. A wave of fresh worries about labor shortages greeted the administration's new rules, unveiled yesterday, that would strengthen enforcement against employers and stiffen penalties for hiring undocumented workers. Officials promised to help meet labor needs by streamlining programs that bring temporary foreign workers into the United States.
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NEWS
By Chris Guy and Chris Guy,SUN STAFF | June 6, 1999
OCEAN CITY -- If money talks, you can't prove it by Frankie Lucas.The manager of a U.S. 50 convenience store, Lucas has been waving cold hard cash -- a $1,000 bonus -- from a banner hanging on the West Ocean City business. She has hired three of the two dozen workers she needs for the summer season."This is the second year we've offered it to anybody who stays through Labor Day," Lucas says. "We started out with $500, and that didn't seem to do it. It's so much worse than last year. You keep thinking it can't get any worse, but I'm working at least 60 hours a week."
NEWS
May 17, 2006
Bill would extend workers' visa plan Washington -- Immigration legislation being considered by the U.S. Senate now includes a key provision that would extend a visa program for seasonal foreign workers that Maryland's seafood packers rely on for a steady labor supply. Packers in Maryland, and seasonal businesses around the country, have come to depend on the visa program, known as H2B. But in recent years, the annual cap of 66,000 workers has been reached earlier and earlier. Last year - with businesses accustomed to hiring workers from Latin America facing a critical labor shortage - Congress agreed to allow seasonal workers who had come to the United States in one of the previous three years to return for the 2005 and 2006 seasons, regardless of whether the cap has been reached.
NEWS
By Stacey Hirsh and Stacey Hirsh,SUN STAFF | April 10, 2000
Take a walk down a cul-de-sac called Summer Sky Path, and new homes are going up almost everywhere you look. Come closer, onto Lot No. 20 and you will find William Gmeinwieser, owner of Horizons Unlimited Home Improvements Inc., hammering shingles onto roofs because he can't find skilled workers to do the job for him. "If I could find some help, I wouldn't have to be out here doing this," he said. To solve a labor shortage faced by Gmeinwieser and others like him throughout the county, Howard Community College is taking a closer look at the problem and how to solve it. "We're just in the beginning stages of trying to figure out, are there adjustments to our curricula?"
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | December 28, 1997
The General Accounting Office has thrown water on a legislative effort, pushed by the nation's agricultural employers, to allow entry of more foreign farm workers by concluding in a new report that there is "no national agricultural labor shortage at this time."Several farm industry associations are pressing to expand the number of temporary work visas for the so-called guest workers, arguing that some regions face labor shortages, which are bound to increase as immigration officials step up efforts to keep out, and send back, illegal aliens.
NEWS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | December 4, 1999
Stocks soared to record levels yesterday after a government report showed benign increases in hourly wages and total employment, soothing investor fears that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates again soon to keep inflation at bay.In its report, the Labor Department said the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent last month, matching a 29-year low reached in October. The U.S. economy added 234,000 jobs last month, slightly more than economists had expected. Wage growth was modest for the month at 0.1 percent, about one-third as much as was expected.
BUSINESS
By Hope Keller and Hope Keller,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 15, 2001
Anyone who's tried to hire a contractor lately knows the problem: There aren't enough to go around. You're lucky if anyone even returns your calls. For builders, the continuing labor shortage in the construction trades is more than inconvenient. With the average age of American construction workers estimated at 38 to 50 years, and no younger generation coming along to take their place, the situation is difficult and getting worse. "It's a problem now, a crisis in 10 years," said Dennis Day, spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America.
NEWS
May 17, 2006
Bill would extend workers' visa plan Washington -- Immigration legislation being considered by the U.S. Senate now includes a key provision that would extend a visa program for seasonal foreign workers that Maryland's seafood packers rely on for a steady labor supply. Packers in Maryland, and seasonal businesses around the country, have come to depend on the visa program, known as H2B. But in recent years, the annual cap of 66,000 workers has been reached earlier and earlier. Last year - with businesses accustomed to hiring workers from Latin America facing a critical labor shortage - Congress agreed to allow seasonal workers who had come to the United States in one of the previous three years to return for the 2005 and 2006 seasons, regardless of whether the cap has been reached.
NEWS
By GEORGE F. WILL | August 29, 1991
Washington -- This Labor Day, take to a hammock with Charles Bailey's new novel of the Great Plains, ''The Land Was Ours.'' You will rise refreshed from revisiting the drama of Americans who labored on the land 100 years ago.In America's tradition of regional fiction, Willa Cather's Nebraska novels have an enviable niche. Now Mr. Bailey enriches the genre with the story of 65 years of the life of Dan Woods, a South Dakota journalist.Ms. Cather found 19th-century Nebraska hard and ''bare as a piece of sheet iron.
NEWS
By Cal Pierson | May 23, 2002
THE BURDENS on hospitals, both in Maryland and across the nation, keep growing. Since Sept. 11 and the subsequent anthrax scare, hospitals have assumed a new role in preparing for unexpected calamities as part of the homeland defense strategy. This comes on top of a rapid rise in the number of patients in need of hospital and emergency room care across the country. Consequently, hospitals face severe shortages of skilled employees in key areas. Sadly, the situation is getting worse, not better.
NEWS
By Charlie LeDuff and Charlie LeDuff,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | August 19, 2001
FINLEYVILLE, Pa. - The shift change came and members of the night crew dragged themselves up from the hole. Their faces were stained and their eyes unfocused. Their faces were old. The morning crew members had old faces, too. The average age of the worker in this coal mine is 52. Although it was the beginning of a damp workday, the men were laughing, because for them, these are the best of times. They have a saying: The only thing worse than this work is not having it. And for many years they did not have it. "When this mine closed down I thought that was it for me," said Gary Hill, 51, who had 18 years in the tunnels before he was laid off four years ago. "Then I got the call saying the mine reopened and come back to work.
BUSINESS
By Hope Keller and Hope Keller,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 15, 2001
Anyone who's tried to hire a contractor lately knows the problem: There aren't enough to go around. You're lucky if anyone even returns your calls. For builders, the continuing labor shortage in the construction trades is more than inconvenient. With the average age of American construction workers estimated at 38 to 50 years, and no younger generation coming along to take their place, the situation is difficult and getting worse. "It's a problem now, a crisis in 10 years," said Dennis Day, spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | January 21, 2001
Double-digit inflation is returning in health care - one national study published last month predicted an 11 percent average increase in health premiums for this year - but health care providers say they are caught in a money crunch. Doctors are worried that insurers are not paying them adequate rates. This year, "the big question is whether we start to see physicians telling bottom-dwelling HMOs to take a hike," said T. Michael Preston, executive director of the state medical society.
BUSINESS
By Ted Shelsby and Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF | November 17, 2000
CHESTERTOWN - A serious shortage of workers is forcing some Maryland farmers to watch their crops rot in the field and is forcing some seafood packers out of business, state officials said yesterday. "It's a critical situation," Hank Passi, chairman of the Maryland Agricultural Commission said of the shortage. "More and more farms will go out of business because they can't get workers." "The seafood industry is dying because of a labor shortage," Paul L. Gunther, a University of Maryland cooperative extension agent, told members of the commission during their two-day tour of farm operations in Kent and Queen Anne's counties.
NEWS
By Stacey Hirsh and Stacey Hirsh,SUN STAFF | November 13, 2000
With the county's unemployment rate at 1.9 percent - the lowest in the region - and local companies struggling to find workers, the Howard County Chamber of Commerce is for the first time joining Howard Community College to present the school's annual Job/Career Fair. "We always promote it among our students - that's always been the primary purpose," said Mary Ellen Duncan, president of Howard Community College. "We're just trying to expand, to go beyond our students, to go to other people in the community," she said.
NEWS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | January 5, 2000
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose disciplined approach to monetary policy has helped the nation enjoy near-record expansion, was nominated yesterday by President Clinton to a fourth term as head of the nation's central bank. The move, though expected, was nevertheless a welcome one to the financial community, which has come to depend on Greenspan's ability to use interest rates as a throttle and brake to keep the economy from moving too quickly or too slowly. President Clinton said as much in commenting on the reappointment.
NEWS
By James Bock and James Bock,SUN STAFF | September 24, 1996
FISHING CREEK -- There's a new ingredient in the Maryland crab cake: Mexican labor.Take a look around seafood packer Jay Newcomb's picking house, and you'll see the new face of his industry: Around one table piled high with steamed crabs work three older Americans; a second table is empty, and at five others, 21 young Mexican women strip white meat from shells.The story is the same at all but the smallest of the dozen seafood-processing plants here on Hoopers Island in Dorchester County: Were it not for Mexican labor, the crabs wouldn't get picked, and Maryland would have to look elsewhere for the makings of its beloved crab cakes.
NEWS
By Stacey Hirsh and Stacey Hirsh,SUN STAFF | April 10, 2000
Take a walk down a cul-de-sac called Summer Sky Path, and new homes are going up almost everywhere you look. Come closer, onto Lot No. 20 and you will find William Gmeinwieser, owner of Horizons Unlimited Home Improvements Inc., hammering shingles onto roofs because he can't find skilled workers to do the job for him. "If I could find some help, I wouldn't have to be out here doing this," he said. To solve a labor shortage faced by Gmeinwieser and others like him throughout the county, Howard Community College is taking a closer look at the problem and how to solve it. "We're just in the beginning stages of trying to figure out, are there adjustments to our curricula?"
NEWS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | February 5, 2000
Call it the economy that just won't slow. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4 percent in January -- a 30-year low -- with companies adding workers at the fastest clip in two years, bolstering evidence that this record-setting expansion accelerated as it entered the new year. Last month's decline dropped the unemployment rate to its lowest point since it hit 3.9 percent in 1970, the Labor Department reported. About 387,000 people joined company payrolls last month -- nearly 50 percent more than the 265,000 that economists expected -- representing the largest payroll rise since a jump of 408,000 in September 1997, the government said.
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