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KNAU and Arizona News

Drop-off in immigration impacting U.S. labor shortage

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Associated Press

The U.S. is experiencing a labor shortage that's partly fueled by a drop-off in immigration, which ground to a halt during the coronavirus pandemic.

By some estimates, the U.S. now has 2 million fewer immigrants than it would have if the pace had stayed the same.

That's led to a scramble for workers in many sectors, from meatpacking to homebuilding. It's also contributing to supply shortages and price increases.

A rancher near the Rio Grande in Texas told the Associated Press he is so short of immigrant workers that he's replaced hundreds of acres of labor-intensive leafy greens with crops that can be harvested by machinery.

He says he's also increased pay for his workers, who are almost exclusively immigrants.