Premium Joomla Template by HostMonster Reviews

USDOL Publishes 2024 H-2A AEWRs

Bryan Little, Farm Employers Labor Service

December 15, 2023

On December 14, the U.S. Department of Labor published 2024 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) for employers using the H-2a temporary agricultural worker visa program.  Program rules generally require ag employers engaging employees with employment-based H-2a visas to pay the highest of the AEWR, any applicable prevailing wage, or the applicable statutory minimum wage.  While the AEWR is nearly always the applicable minimum for H-2a employees, prevailing wages sometime come into play.  The Department last year significantly loosened the statistical validity standards for prevailing wage surveys; the result of this has been prevailing wage surveys conducted by questionably-qualified surveyors that collected results from a small handful of employers.  This resulted in applicable prevailing wages much higher wages typically paid in those areas.  AEWRs become effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register.

The 2024 AEWR for California is $19.75, the highest in the U.S. and 6% increase over 2023.  In some states (like Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, Mississippi, and Georgia) the AEWR rose 7% year-over-year  (see 2024 AEWRs On The Way (Up), Veronica Nigh, Senior Economist, American Farm Bureau).