WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) and Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) introduced bipartisan legislation to address the national labor shortage affecting small businesses across Georgia. The Acute Labor Shortage Solution Act helps restaurants, manufacturing, trucking and other small businesses that are suffering from severe labor shortages find labor while helping immigrants participate in our local economy.
“I repeatedly hear from small business owners who need help finding workers for their small businesses,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux. “My legislation helps these companies can host workers from around the world who can help them grow their businesses and ensure services remain available for consumers in our communities.”
“We constantly hear from employers that the labor shortage is negatively effecting their businesses. This legislation provides them with temporary relief while they navigate these challenges,” said Congressman Austin Scott.
EB-3 visas are employer-sponsored visas that allow skilled workers, professionals, and needed unskilled workers to come and work in the United States. The Acute Labor Shortage Solutions Act would give the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the ability to temporarily exempt EB-3 workers from the numerical cap if the industry is judged by these agencies to be facing a severe labor shortage.
The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate and dramatic impact on the United States economy. The unemployment rate peaked in April 2020 at a rate not seen since unemployment data began being collected in 1948: 14.8%. However, the United States GDP growth has rebounded quickly, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.6% in March 2022.
As the unemployment rate has fallen and GDP approaches pre-pandemic levels, United States employers have confronted a new problem: workforce shortages and difficulty hiring and retaining workers. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, millions fewer Americans are participating in the workforce, though the number of Americans looking for work and returning to the workforce has increased in recent months.
Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux lives with her family in Suwanee, Georgia, and represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Carolyn is a strong advocate for affordable health care, and economic recovery that puts workers and small businesses first, and investing in her district’s world-class public education system and transportation infrastructure.
Georgia’s fast-changing 7th Congressional District includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and cities Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Sugar Hill, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Grayson, and Buford.