Agricultural/Woods Wage Surveys

An agricultural employer who anticipates a shortage of U.S. workers needed to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature may file an application requesting temporary foreign agricultural labor certification. "Temporary or seasonal nature" means employment performed at certain seasons of the year, usually in relation to the production and/or harvesting of a crop, or for a limited time period of less than one year when an employer can show that the need for the foreign worker(s) is truly temporary. In order to determine a wage for these workers, surveys are conducted of existing workers to determine the prevailing wage for each occupation.

Importance of Participation

Without the generous cooperation of the people who participate in our surveys - people like you - the Center for Workforce Research and Information could not fulfill its mission to provide vital information about our economy and society to so many different customers. Without your participation, these surveys would not accurately reflect the economic and social conditions of Maine and the United States. If you are asked to participate in one of our surveys, please say "Yes". A few moments of your time can mean so much for people just like you.

Protecting Confidentiality

We understand that confidentiality is extremely important to you. That is why the confidentiality of participants in our surveys is strictly protected by law and additionally by our own security policies. Federal and State law prohibits us from releasing any information that could reveal the identity of you or your business without your consent. The information that you provide can only be used to produce statistics. In other words, it can be used to describe or analyze the characteristics only of groups, not individuals, households, or specific organizations. We have established multiple layers of protection for our computer systems and records, and we regularly train our staff concerning policies to protect your information. These laws and policies ensure that no one will be able to misuse your information or gain an unfair advantage by obtaining inside information about your business.

Tables

  • Effective Wage Rates for the H-2A Program (Excel) (PDF)
  • Prevailing Wage and Piece Rates for the Pulpwood and Logging Industry, 2014 (PDF)

Agricultural/Woods Wage Survey Reporting

Links

FAQs

  • Must I complete the agricultural wage survey form?
  • If you are hiring foreign labor you must complete the survey form. For all others, you are not required to complete it but your information is valuable because it forms the basis for the prevailing wage that is paid to foreign workers in your business/industry.

  • What is done with the information collected from the agriculture wage survey?
  • Data from the survey is compiled and used to identify a prevailing wage for occupations in your industry. Any employer looking to hire foreign labor for those same occupations must pay the prevailing wage or better for that labor. This ensures that jobs, as much as possible, remain open to U.S. workers. Under the Foreign Labor Certification Program (H-2A Program), the employer must offer, recruit at, and pay a wage that is the highest of the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) in effect at the time the job order is placed, the prevailing hourly or piece rate, the agreed-upon collective bargaining rate (CBA), or the Federal or State minimum wage.

  • What wages do other companies pay their employees?
  • Maine law requires that the Center for Workforce Research and Information (CWRI) holds any information on employment and rates of pay provided by specific employers strictly confidential. Under the provisions of federal law, data on individual firms gathered for statistical purposes through state-federal cooperative programs cannot be made public by CWRI. You can find occupation specific information through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program which publishes hourly earnings data by occupation, and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program which produces average weekly wages by industry.

  • Is there any other way to provide the information?
  • Instead of completing the standard survey form, you may also elect to send in a computer printout that includes job titles and wages. We do not require names of employees or SSN and all the information you provide is held confidential. You may always contact suzanne.p.thivierge@maine.gov or call (207) 621-5176 to discuss alternative methods.

  • If the survey is voluntary, why should I provide data?
  • Your information is extremely important for the economic development of an area, county, state, and our nation. Measuring the economy through the accurate data collection, dissemination, analysis and production of employer information is our area of expertise. Surveys that we conduct, like this one, are key to ensuring we are keeping current with the economic development issues. The information we collect will ensure the quality of wage and employment data for your industry.

[More FAQS...]

Contact Information

Maine Department of Labor
Center for Workforce Research & Information
118 SHS
Augusta, ME 04333-0118

Suzanne Thivierge
Phone: (207) 621-5176
TTY: Maine Relay 711
Fax: (207) 287-2947
Email: Suzanne.P.Thivierge@Maine.gov