According to ERS, American farmers who want to hire temporary foreign workers through the H-2A visa program usually work with a third party.  The new data announced this week indicated the third parties, such as agents, associations or a lawyer, are used to make the applications.  Employers themselves filed applications for only 15% of all jobs requested.  Across the U.S., agents filed applications for 45% of all H-2A jobs, an association of farm enterprises filed for 21% of jobs, while 19% came from a lawyer representing the farmer.


However, the usage rates for third parties differ across states.  For instance, lawyers tend to file for most of the jobs in California, while agents and associations account for almost two-thirds of the job filings in Florida. The H-2A program allows farm operators who foresee a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. temporarily to perform agricultural labor or services.


Speaking of numbers, six States accounted for 55% of H-2A jobs:  

  • Florida at 14%
  • Washington and Georgia both at 10% 
  • California accounts for 9% 
  • And North Carolina rounds out the top five with 8%.


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