A publication of AAEA

A publication of AAEA
The Role of Guest Workers in U.S. Agriculture

The Role of Guest Workers in U.S. Agriculture

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Theme Overview: The Role of Guest Workers in U.S. Agriculture

Stephen Devadoss and Jeff Luckstead

The articles in this theme examine the history of guest-worker and H-2A programs, farm-labor shortages, the changing profile of agricultural farmworkers, and the H-2A visa application procedure. Also discussed are recent employment trends in labor-intensive agricultural segments such as fruit and vegetable production, the H-2C program, and immigration reforms.

The Importance of H-2A Guest Workers in Agriculture

Jeff Luckstead and Stephen Devadoss

This article reviews the H-2A program by highlighting the lengthy paperwork required to employ H-2A workers, the employment of these workers in various states and agricultural sectors, wages paid to these workers, substitutability of undocumented workers and guest workers, and the contribution of these workers to U.S. agriculture.

The Role of the H-2A Program in California Agriculture

Philip Martin

There are a million year-round equivalent jobs in U.S. agriculture, a third of which are in California. The number of U.S. farm jobs certified for H-2A workers was below 50,000 in 2004–2005, and less than 5,000 in California. However, certified H-2A workers now number almost 250,000 due to a large expansion of the program, especially in California.

Trends in U.S. Farm Labor and H-2A Hired Labor: Policy and Related Issues

Maria Bampasidou and Michael E. Salassi

This article reviews trends in U.S farm labor and wages as well as the H-2A program. It highlights the changing worker profile in U.S. agriculture. The decreasing number of farm workers and associated increased wage rates, could adversely affect the economic wellbeing of several labor-intensive agricultural industries.

Labor-Intensive Multiple Cropping Systems and the H-2A Program: Evidence from the Crawfish Industry

Surendra Osti, Maria Bampasidou, and J. Matthew Fannin

Labor-intensive production operations such as crawfish depend on the H-2A program to secure labor. The 10-month limit on the H-2A guest-worker visa could affect the efficiency of these operations as employers will need to reapply to hire H-2A workers.