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.
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.
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.
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.
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.