Adverse Effect Wage Rates are likely to increase in 2024, according to the results of an annual labor survey the federal government uses to set the H-2A wage floors.

The annual farm labor survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported average gross wages for field and livestock combined at levels higher than the previous year. The U.S. Department of Labor typically uses results in that category from the November survey to set the following year’s Adverse Effect Wage Rates, regional pay scales that growers must meet if they use H-2A labor.

In Washington and Oregon, AEWR would increase from $17.97 per hour to $19.25, a 7 percent increase. Here’s a look at how much AEWR would increase for other tree fruit growing states:

—California: $18.65 to $19.75 (6 percent) 

—Michigan: $17.34 to $18.50 (6 percent) 

—New York: $16.95 to $17.80 (5 percent)

—Pennsylvania: $16.55 to $17.20 (4 percent)

Employers who hire employees on H-2A visas must pay the highest of AEWR, federal prevailing wages, the federal minimum wage, the state’s minimum wage or an amount stipulated by a negotiated contract.

by Ross Courtney