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State Could Lose 50,000 Ag Jobs Due To Hurricane Irma, Study Finds

Stuart Rankin via flickr

55,000 agriculture-related jobs are in danger in the wake of Hurricane Irma, according to a recent University of Florida analysis. Economist and study author Alan Hodges says the storms’ impacts to Florida’s growers are unprecedented. Because the state's second largest industry depends on so many other suppliers and distributors, and fuels so many local economies, Hodges says the ripple effects are not limited to growers alone. 

Credit Stuart Rankin via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24354425@N03/14576820330/

In fact, he says workers indirectly employed by the ag industry – truckers, equipment sellers, mechanics and small business owners – will likely see more job losses than farmworkers themselves.

“That covers you know the fast food worker at the McDonalds where the farmworkers eat. The clothing store where farmers buy their clothes, the car dealer where they buy their vehicles and so forth,” Hodges said. "So when you add those in, it more than doubles the estimated impacts."

He says the estimated $1.8 billion dollars in crop losses will likely snowball into nearly $2.4 billion in lost income. Local and state governments will miss out on approximately $214 million in tax revenues.

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As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.
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