DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Shortage of Foreign Labor Forces Maine Businesses to Hire Local Workers

13th July 2017

Read it.

Because the H-2B visa program has already reached its annual quota, Bar Harbor’s hotels, restaurants and shops can’t bring in any more foreign workers for the rest of the busy summer tourist season. Like hundreds of similar coastal resort towns, Bar Harbor has for many years depended on the H-2B visas for temporary workers. The program allows non-agricultural companies to bring in foreign labor if they are unable to find suitable employees domestically.

And you could write a book about the many ways to game that system.

The shortage is so acute that companies are sweetening incentives for local workers. Searchfield says some businesses are offering flexible schedules that might appeal to older workers who might be interested in working only a day or two each week. And other companies have gone so far as to offer higher wages to entice locals.

Wow! Actual market incentives! Who thought of that? But don’t worry — the gummint is on the case.

Several lawmakers are pressuring the Trump administration to authorize more H-2B visas, and DHS is expected to announce a higher cap this month. Independent Maine Sen. Angus King has introduced legislation that would restore the returning worker rule.

In the meantime, Bar Harbor’s businesses are scrambling to find locals to pick up the slack.

The horror!

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