The minimum wage for H-2A guest workers is likely to rise in several states during 2018. The National Ag Statistics Service surveys the prevailing wages of field and livestock workers in different regions across the country.
The NASS calculations are normally adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor in December as the Adverse Effect Wage Rates for the coming year. The AEWR is above state minimum wages and is intended to prevent domestic wages from being impacted by an influx of foreign workers.
For example, the new minimum wage for H-2A visa guest workers in Washington and Oregon will likely rise over five percent to $14.12 per hour. While the wage is higher, the region ranking slips from the highest minimum wage to the second-highest in the nation. Hawaii is number one at $14.37 per hour. California’s wage is projected to rise almost five percent to $13.18. Idaho and Wyoming will likely drop three cents to $11.63. Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina are the top three states in the U.S. in terms of the overall number of H-2A guest workers, with Washington and California rounding out the top five states.