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Economist says “labor shortage” isn’t the real problem

Agriculture and other businesses claim there is a labor shortage, but a German dairy economist disagrees. 

Torsten Hemme from Germany is an economist and founder of the International Farm Comparison Network.  Hemme has a different perspective than most about the labor situation. He says, “There is no labor shortage because there are enough people out there.”

Hemme tells Brownfield there’s a gap between what employers want to pay and what potential employees are looking for. “The labor is not short. It’s there. The problem is with you. You’re not competitive to pay for those salaries, the salaries which are needed. The image of your industry is not attractive, to attract talent.”

Hemme says employers around the world are not looking at the labor issue from the right perspective. “You don’t have Americans on farms anymore so you solve it with immigrant labor. That’s really a signal that your system is not really attractive for a modern, rich country labor force.”

Hemme was a panelist in the Global Dairy Symposium held during World Dairy Expo.

Economist Torsten Hemme discusses milk price cycles, labor, and other subjects at World Dairy Expo with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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