MICHIGAN (PATCH) — There’s good news for Michigan’s agricultural workers this year. They are getting a raise.

The hourly wage for Michigan’s temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign agricultural workers increased from $13.54 to $14.40 per hour as of Jan. 2, 2020. Positions paying this wage offer opportunities for workers to earn above the state’s minimum wage rate of $9.65 per hour, state officials said.

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The 86-cent hourly increase was the result of the revised Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) established by the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. The AEWR is the hourly wage rate paid to temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H-2A workers) who perform agricultural labor or services, excluding the herding or production of livestock on the range.

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U.S. workers are also entitled to this wage if they are hired to work with an agricultural employer under an H-2A employment contract. AEWRs are established for each state annually so the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers in the state will not be adversely affected by the employment of H-2A workers.

“The food and agriculture industry contributes more than $100 billion to Michigan’s economy annually, and supporting our farmers’ efforts in meeting their labor needs is a priority,” said Hector Arroyo Jr. who manages Agricultural Employment Services for the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “The State of Michigan provides a variety of resources, such as the Migrant Services Worker and Foreign Labor Certification programs, to support the state’s agriculture industry.”

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