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Migration Dialogue provides timely, factual and nonpartisan information and analysis of international migration issues through five major activities: the newsletters Migration News and Rural Migration News, Changing Face and other Research & Seminars, and the Sloan West Coast Program on Science and Engineering Workers.
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US Department of Labor (DOL) certified 165,000 farm jobs to be filled with H-2A workers in FY16, and is expected to certify over 200,000 jobs in FY17. The US Department of State (DOS) issued 134,400 visas to H-2A workers in FY16, up from 108,100 in FY15 and 55,400 in FY11.
DOL does not generate estimates of the weeks of farm work done by H-2A workers or wages earned by H-2A workers. An analysis of FY12 data, when DOL certified 85,248 jobs to be filled by H-2A workers, found that the 5,400 employers who were certified offered an average 33 weeks of employment for an average 43 hours a week to H-2A workers. If weeks of US employment are multiplied by the number of workers requested by each employer, the average number of weeks drops to 26, reflecting the fact that several hundred employers offer 52-week sheepherder jobs to relatively few workers.