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National Agricultural Statistics Service

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Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) Indicator Updated

Released November 18, 2005, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture. For information call Mark Aitken at (202) 720-9525.

This announcement is the third in a series of annual wage reports. It contains updated average wage rates which are used as indicators in establishing the Adverse Effect Wage Rates for the following calendar year. The published numbers are annual weighted average hourly wage rates for field and livestock workers (combined), by region, as published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These annual average wage rates represent one of the three indicators which the U.S. Department of Labor uses to establish the Adverse Effect Wage Rates.

The Department of Labor's current H-2A regulations state that the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) shall be equal to the highest of the following three indicators: (1) The Prevailing Wage Rate, (2) The Minimum Wage Rate, or (3) The annual weighted average hourly wage rate for field and livestock workers (combined) for the region as published by USDA based on its quarterly wage survey.

The USDA quarterly Farm Labor survey results and annual average wage rates are published each year by NASS in mid-November. The official AEWR for each region will be published later in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Since the NASS field and livestock wage rates have most often been the highest of the three indicators, those wage rates were previously published as a "forecast" of the final AEWR by the USDA's Agricultural Labor Affairs Coordinator on the web site of the "Office of the Chief Economist." As of November 2003, this "forecast" was no longer available as such. Instead, this special report provides the specific table from the mid-November NASS report containing the annual weighted average hourly wage rates for field and livestock workers, by region. A list of states in each region is also given in this table, since the regional wage rate applies to each state within that particular region.








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