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DOL Certified 258,000 Jobs in FY19

November 19, 2019

The US Department of Labor certified almost 258,000 jobs to be filled with H-2A workers in FY19, up six percent from 243,000 in FY18. There is no limit on the number of H-2A workers who can be admitted; the number of H-2A jobs certified has risen from less than 50,000 in FY05.

The top five states accounted for 51 percent of all H-2A certifications: Florida (13 percent), Georgia (11 percent), Washington (10 percent), California (9 percent), and North Carolina (8 percent).

The five largest employers certified were the NCGA, accounting for 11,200 or four percent of H-2A certifications, Fresh Harvest, 4,800, WAFLA, 4,400, Zirkle, 3,400, and Farm-Op Kuzzens H-2A in Immokalee, 2,700. These five accounted for 10 percent of jobs certified.

The five leading job titles were general farm workers, 32,000 or 12 percent of jobs certified, berries, 10 percent, tobacco, six percent, fruits and vegetables and apples, five percent each.

The number of farm jobs certified to be filled with H-2A workers rose 6 percent to 258,000 in FY19

Applications Received
FYTD Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 % Change FY 2018
13,081 3,175 5,380 2,948 1,578 10.8%
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Fereign Labor Certification
Applications Processed
Determination FYTD Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Total Determinations 13,095 1,964 5,800 3,357 1,974
- Certified 12,626 1,880 5,660 3,242 1,844
- Denied 211 34 67 53 57
- Withdrawn 258 50 73 62 73
Positions Requested 268,729 36,477 91,161 85,454 55,637
Positions Certified 257,667 35,449 87,868 82,094 52,256
Processed Timely 86.1% 92.6% 77.5% 85.6% 96.3%
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Fereign Labor Certification
Selected Statistics by Worker Positions Certified
Review of Positions Certified FY 2019EOY
(% of total certified FY 2019EOY)
Top 10 States Florida 33,598 13.0%
Georgia 29,480 11.4%
Washington 26,226 10.2%
California 23,321 9.1%
North Carolina 21,605 8.4%
Louisiana 10,816 4.2%
Michigan 9,096 3.5%
Kentucky 8,315 3.2%
New York 8,104 3.1%
South Carolina 6,082 2.4%
Top 10 Employers North Carolina Growers Association (NCGA) 11,223 4.4%
Fresh Harvest, Inc. 4,812 1.9%
WAFLA 4,369 1.7%
Zirkle Fruit Company 3,400 1.3%
Farm-Op Kuzzens H2A, LLC 2,658 1.0%
Ag Labor, LLC 2,409 0.9%
Foothill Packing, Inc. 2,398 0.9%
Overlook Harvesting Co. 2,396 0.9%
R & R Harvesting, Inc. 2,094 0.8%
Rancho Nuevo Harvesting 2,024 0.8%
Top 10 Crops/ Occupation General Farm Workers 31,967 12.4%
Berries 24,661 9.6%
Tobacco 16,252 6.3%
Fruits and Vegetables 13,995 5.4%
Apples 12,479 4.8%
Melons 11,876 4.6%
Nursery and Greenhouse Workers 9,885 3.8%
Agricultural Equipment Operators 9,869 3.8%
Corn 9,776 3.8%
Tomatoes 6,252 2.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Fereign Labor Certification
Top States
Florida 13.0%
Georgia 11.4%
Washington 10.2%
California 9.1%
North Carolina 8.4%
Louisiana 4.2%
Michigan 3.5%
Kentucky 3.2%
New York 3.1%
South Carolina 2.4%
Remaining States 31.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Fereign Labor Certification
Top Crops
General Farm Workers 12.4%
Berries 9.6%
Tobacco 6.3%
Fruits and Vegetables 5.4%
Melons 4.8%
Nursery and Green... 4.6%
Agricultural Equipment 3.8%
Corn 3.8%
Apples 3.8%
Cherries 2.4%
Remaining Crops 42.9%
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Fereign Labor Certification

The top five states accounted for 51 percent of H-2A jobs certified

Certified H-2A Guest-Workers Nationally
Year Workers
2019 257,700
2011 77,300
2009 86,000
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Top H-2A Ag Worker States
Area 2018 2019 Percent change
1. Florida 30,462 33,598 10.3%
2. Georgia 32,364 29,480 -8.9%
3. Washington 24,862 26,226 5.5%
4. California 18,908 23,321 23.3%
5. North Carolina 21,794 21,605 -0.9%
U.S. Total 242,762 257,667 6.1%
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Adverse Effect Wage Rates rose almost $2 an hour between 2018 and 2019 in the mountain states