2024 AEWR Rise for Many States; Texas International Produce Association's Dante Galeazzi Comments



2024 AEWR Rise for Many States; Texas International Produce Association's Dante Galeazzi Comments


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UNITED STATES - Though we just put a bow on the holiday season, as one friend in the industry recently pointed out to me, it may as well already be Easter. Such is timing for the plans and strategies of the produce industry, and among them are new rates and data from the year completed.

 

On the heels of the USDA’s Farm Labor Report, released in late November, the United States Department of Labor has followed with the release of the 2024 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWR)—baseline of H-2A workers’ hourly wage—with hikes apparent across the board, potentially posing a challenge to producers utilizing the program.

 

Dante Galeazzi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Texas International Produce Association

"It's no secret that America is facing a labor shortage, which is particularly acute in the agriculture sector,” Dante Galeazzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Texas International Produce Association, shared with ANUK. Texas in particular will see an AEWR hike from $14.87 in 2023 to $15.55 in 2024, an increase of about five percent, according to the association. “Actions such as increasing the AEWR without actually determining if domestic workers are impacted is simply adding to the slate of issues facing the fresh produce industry. Unfortunately, it also continues to keep American specialty crop producers at a disadvantage in the global marketplace."

 

Painting an overall picture of the potential impact, American Farm Bureau Economist Veronica Nigh wrote on the incline of AEWRs for the year.

 

Veronica Nigh, Senior Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation

“The report also provides an annual weighted average hourly wage rate for field workers, field and livestock workers combined, and all hired workers, based on the quarterly estimates. Of utmost importance to users of the H-2A visa program, the field and livestock workers’ combined wage rate for 2023 contained in the FLR becomes the Adverse Effect Wage Rate utilized in the H-2A program in 2024,” Nigh stated.

 

From lowest to highest, the regional breakdown is as follows:

  • AEWR between $14 and $14.99: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida
  • AEWR between $15 and $15.99: Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina, and Virginia
  • AEWR between $16 and $16.99: Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah
  • AEWR between $17 and $17.99: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Missouri, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont
  • AEWR between $18 and $18.99: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Hawaii, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Hawaii
  • AEWR in excess of $19 per hour: Oregon, Washington, and California
On the heels of the USDA’s Farm Labor Report, released in late November, the United States Department of Labor has followed with the release of the 2024 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWR)

Continue to follow AndNowUKnow for the latest updates and potential impacts on the fresh produce industry.



Companies in this Story


Texas International Produce Association

The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) was created in 1942 by a group of industry leaders who shared a vision…