The Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) is the minimum wage that must be paid to H-2A workers by agricultural employers in the United States. The AEWR is determined annually by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for each state or region based on surveys of the wages paid to non-H-2A agricultural workers in that area.
As of 2021, the AEWR for H-2A workers ranges from $11.81 per hour in some southern states to $16.34 per hour in Hawaii. The average AEWR across all states is $14.77 per hour. It's important to note that the AEWR can change each year based on the data collected by the DOL.
Employers who participate in the H-2A program must pay the AEWR or a higher wage, and they must provide certain other benefits to H-2A workers, such as transportation to and from the worksite, housing, and meals or a meal allowance. These requirements are in place to ensure that H-2A workers are not adversely affected by the employment of foreign workers and to protect the wages and working conditions of U.S. agricultural workers.