AFBF analysis on high H-2A wages
December 2, 2019 By Nicole Heslip Filed Under: 2019 Events, 2019 NAFB Convention, News
Farm Bureau says demand for the H-2A guest worker program is three times
greater than a decade ago and employees have seen wages increase more than a 30
Department of Labor reports the 2019 fiscal year again saw a record number of
positions filled, more than a quarter-million, with the most requests received
in the second quarter.
economist Veronica Nigh tells Brownfield Ag News, “Once you kind of dig into
the data what you see is, it’s a wider and wider variety of farms of different sizes.
You see more small and medium-sized farms starting to utilize the program.”
farmers are rightly concerned about the programs high wage requirements, but, “The
labor supply is tight! If there were folks out there that we could hire do you
think that we’d be using a program that’s as expensive as the one that we’ve
wage rates for the program are expected to increase six-percent next year to
$13.99 per hour. Rates have increased
every year over the past 10 years.
there’s a reason immigration and access to labor has been a priority for Farm
Bureau members for the past 30 years because it’s a “tough issue.”
not support the Farm Workforce Modernization Act in Congress, saying it is
deficient in wage and other areas.
Many farmers say the year-over-year wage increases are not sustainable, given low commodity prices and high inputs.
~Brownfield’s Julie Harker contributed to this story
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