The interest for H-2A workers is not slowing down
There were almost 300,000 certified jobs in 2020.
Demand for H-2A workers has nearly quadrupled in the last 10 years.
The Economic Research Service evaluated the data. In 2020, there were 275,000 certified H-2A jobs in the U.S. Five states, including California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Washington, account for more than half of those, with most requested by farm labor contractors.
The Agency says this year’s demand for the program is up 15 percent from last year, with wages having climbed 4 percent each year.
Congressman Dan Newhouse of Washington state introduced the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. While the bill stalled in the Senate, he says there is still support in the Northeast.
“The largest supporters of the bill and the ones taking leadership of moving the bill through the Senate are actually from the state of Idaho. Senators Crapo and Risch, both of them have been champions of this issue and working very closely with us in the House. You know, the state of Idaho and the state of Washington, we have a lot of similarities as far as our agricultural industries and so they understand fully well the nature of the labor-intensive agriculture that we have in the Northwest,” said Newhouse.
Newhouse admits time is running out to get the bill passed, but he hopes the Senate will reconsider before the end of the year. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act has already cleared the House.