Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave a preview of what the 2021 H-2A wage rates will be. USDA released its Farm Labor Survey (FLS), which the Department of Labor (DOL) will use to generate the 2021 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs). The DOL’s rule to transition away from the FLS and to freeze the AEWR for two years was enjoined by a court in the recent litigation brought by UFW against the DOL. Pursuant to the court’s order, the DOL will publish the new AEWRs in the Federal Register in the next two weeks and go into effect immediately thereafter.
According to the Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform (ACIR) and Shawn Packer with JPH Law Firm (formerly CJ Lake), the new rates will be as follows for Western Growers’ states:
- California’s AEWR will increase by $1.28, to $16.05 per hour;
- Arizona’s and New Mexico’s AEWR will increase by $0.76, to $13.67 per hour; and
- Colorado’s AEWR will increase by $0.56, to $14.82 per hour.
While not final, these numbers are expected to become the actual AEWRs when DOL publishes the new rates in the coming weeks.
Since 2005, Western Growers H-2A Services has helped WG members successfully access the H-2A agricultural visa program. If you are anticipating having a shortage of reliable labor this year, please contact WG Senior Vice President and General Counsel Jason Resnick for information about our exclusive H-2A services.