The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) publishes a semi-annual Farm Labor Report. The annual weighted average hourly wage rate for field and livestock workers combined is currently used as the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) in administration of the H-2A Program. The NASS survey includes part-time and full-time workers, paid family members, and hired managers. It includes unskilled and skilled workers, such as truck drivers, accountants and employee veterinarians.
The H-2A program’s AEWR is statutorily required to “not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.” Through regulation, the USDOL has adopted the NASS study wage level as the AEWR. The NASS data is reported by region rather than by state.
The NASS Farm Labor Report does not differentiate the wages paid to domestic workers, authorized or not, or H-2A non-immigrant employees. However, eligible individuals are statutorily defined under the H-2A section, with respect to employment, and “are individuals who are not an unauthorized alien with respect to that employment and are not an “H-2A worker.”
Not only does the NASS Survey include workers who are not eligible individuals, but includes many jobs typically not done by H-2A visa holders, or is full-time work specifically excluded for H-2A visa holders. NASS currently asks if H-2A workers are employed and, if so, how many are employed, but does not differentiate or exclude those employers in the Farm Labor Report.
AFBF: #135 Farm Labor, #137 Immigration, #455 Agricultural Reports
MFB: #57 Wages and Compensation
Farm Labor: The Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)
Federal Minimum Wage by Year
State Minimum Wage by Year