The Wall Street Journal reports on labor shortages in farming and construction in Florida resulting from the state’s new law cracking down on unauthorized persons, who are estimated to number 775,000 (3.4% of the total population). The new law is summarized here. The article is light on data.
Unauthorized workers are estimated to comprise about 50% of the state’s farm workforce.
Commercial farms are responding by using more H-2A temporary farm workers. Nationwide, over the past ten years, the share of farm workers who are unauthorized has declined while the number who have temporary work visas has surged. The number of H-2A “certified jobs” in FY 2013 was 110,000; in FY 2021, 317,000. Today, there are about 50,000 H-2A workers in Florida.
As for construction, a national labor shortage has been a factor for some time.
The Florida Policy Institute estimates that nearly 10% of workers in Florida’s most labor-intensive industries are unauthorized.