Sunday, February 21, 2021

H-2A Wage Increase Set

H-2A wages will increase by 4.5% in 2021.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA released its Farm Labor Survey, which the Department of Labor will use to generate the 2021 Adverse Effect Wage Rates for the H-2A program, according to a news release.

In normal years, the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) is known when the Farm Labor Survey is released in November, but the Department of Labor’s earlier rule to transition away from the FLS and to freeze the AEWR for two years was stopped by a court challenge.

The Department of Labor will publish the new AEWRs in the Federal Register in the next two weeks and go into effect immediately thereafter, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

According to the Farm Labor Survey, the average wage increase for the H-2A program in 2021 will be 4.5%, from 2020 to 2021. In 2020, the annual national average gross wage rate for field and livestock workers was $14.62 in 2020, up 4.5%, from $13.99 in 2019.

The American Farm Bureau Federation said growers have absorbed several years of increases.

“While a 4.5% single-year increase is sizable, the 2021 AEWR jump comes on the heels of several years of considerable wage rate increases. Over the last five years, the national average AEWR has increased by 20%,” the group said in a news release.

Source: The Packer