Perdue comments on Labor Department H-2A wage rule


Perdue comments on Labor Department H-2A wage rule

The U.S. Department of Labor has changed how the Adverse Effect Wage Rate for H-2A workers should be determined.   Labor officials say the new final rule calls for stabilizing the wage rate through 2022 by using USDA’s Farm Labor Survey combined hourly wage data for field and livestock workers.  Then in 2023, the Labor Department will annually adjust the rate by the percentage change in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Employment Cost Index for wages and salaries for the preceding 12-month period. 

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue issued a statement, saying the new rule will ensure greater stability for farmers and deliver lower costs when farmers need it most.  Perdue says, “Farm wages have increased at a higher pace than other industries, which is why this DOL rule could not come at a better time.”

Perdue says labor officials will issue another final rule to complete a 2019 proposal governing other aspects of H-2A ag labor certification.

Also, a California judge recently ruled that USDA must continue collecting farmworker wage data the Farm Labor Survey, even though USDA says there are other sources for the wage rate information.