SALT LAKE CITY — Tyler Holt summed up the problem his Utah landscaping business faces every year. “People who want to be in the job force want stability — if they want to work, they work full time,” he said. “Locally there’s just no workers who want to do anything seasonal.”

The complaint has been echoed not only by landscapers in Utah, but also by amusement parks in Wyoming, restaurants in Rhode Island, crab trappers in Maryland, camps in Colorado and thousands of other businesses around the country that depend on seasonal workers from abroad to work lower-wage nonfarm jobs.

The scramble for these temporary guest workers has been intense in recent years, as the jobless rate inched down and tensions over immigration policy ratcheted up. But this year, after the coronavirus pandemic first halted and then seriously constrained the stream of foreign workers into the United States, the competition has been particularly…

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