H-2A Wage Rates to Rise Again

Daniel CooperLabor


Florida’s adverse effect wage rate (AEWR), the minimum wage for H-2A agricultural workers, is estimated to climb 3% in 2024. Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) reported the new Florida AEWR is estimated to be $14.77 per hour.

Georgia’s AEWR is expected to rise 7%. Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) reported Georgia’s new AEWR is estimated to be $14.66 per hour.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS) on Nov. 22 released the results of its most recent Farm Labor Survey (FLS). The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) uses the survey’s results to determine the AEWR for each state.

In February, the DOL released the final rule regarding the methodology used to determine the hourly AEWR. The rule now triggers an AEWR adjustment twice a year.

GFVGA reported that only Hawaii is projected to experience a higher percentage increase compared to Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Those three states share AEWR rates as the Southeast Region.

“Over the past two years, Georgia has observed a significant 22% escalation in AEWR, soaring from $11.99 to the current $14.66,” GFVGA stated. “Georgia’s AEWR now stands at twice the state’s minimum wage.”

FFVA and GFVGA both noted that the AEWR rates for their states are subject to change pending the official posting in the Federal Register by the DOL.

The USDA NASS survey reported that nationally, the 2023 all hired worker annual average gross wage rate was $18.53 per hour, up 6% from the 2022 rate. The 2023 field worker annual average gross wage rate was $17.88 per hour, up 7% from the 2022 rate.

According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, Florida and Georgia accounted for 14% and 10%, respectively, of the certified H-2A jobs in the United States in 2020. The other large H-2A users were Washington (10%), California (9%), North Carolina (8%) and Louisiana (4%). Learn more here.

Sources: FFVA and GFVGA

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