California farm employers with H-2A workers are now paying the third-highest wage rate in the country. The Adverse Effect Wage Rate was increased nine percent to a total of $16.05 per hour in California. After a delay to the 2021 wage rate, the increase is a significant concern for farmers looking to budget their labor costs.
“I think it’s going to be challenging especially in light of California’s reduced work week which means likely some overtime hours that some H-2A workers might be engaged in. So, it’s a lot of adjustment on budgets for a lot of people,” said Lupe Sandoval, Executive Director for the California Farm Labor Contractor Association. “The reality is that H-2A is likely here to stay despite a lot of the challenges that people find in that program.”
Listen to the radio report below.