Dairying has revitalised North Otago.
It gives better cash flow than traditional sheep and beef farming, and needs more and younger workers.
However, in spite of pay rates well above what young people with few if any qualifications could expect elsewhere, it is difficult to recruit and retain blood staff.
When the local market can’t supply willing workers, farmers and sharemilkers turn to immigrants.
Getting short-term staff isn’t hard. There are plenty of young people touring on visas which allow them to take up temporary work and most of them work well.
But getting good staff for longer term work is hard and this isn’t a problem confined to New Zealand as the tweet below shows.
The problem isn’t confined to farming either.
Employers in hospitality have similar problems and visitors from overseas told us they rarely had locals serving them when they ate out.
In spite of all these employers needing staff, the number of people on benefits increased in June for the first time since 2010, and the number of those being sanctioned fell.
It looks like the willing workers are coming from other countries and the unwilling ones are Finding it easier to get and retain benefits.