Editor’s note: The U.S. Department of Labor has finalized the 2021 Adverse Effect Wage Rate and published the decision in the Federal Register. The rates reported below stand. To read the entire list, state by state, visit https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/02/23/2021-03752/labor-certification-process-for-the-temporary-employment-of-aliens-in-agriculture-in-the-united.

The National Council of Agricultural Employers estimates that the Adverse Effect Wage Rate, or AEWR, across the country will increase based on the results of the 2020 Farm Labor Survey.

Washington and Oregon are expected to lead all farming regions with a new AEWR of $16.34 per hour, a 51-cent increase over 2020. Other fruit-growing states are California at $16.05 per hour, New York at $14.99, Michigan at $14.72 and Pennsylvania at $14.05.

By federal court order, the U.S. Department of Labor has until Feb. 25 to finalize AEWRs.

The AEWR is normally calculated earlier in the winter, but a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California has slowed the process. The judge in that case still must rule whether any of the AEWR increases are retroactive to Dec. 21.  

by Ross Courtney