In response to inquiries from AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) regarding the ever lengthening processing delays for PWD’s (prevailing wage determinations), the DOL provided several reasons including: higher volume, impact of increased filings for H-2b cases, and the implementation of the new SOC codes which went into effect on July 1st. With respect to the new SOC codes, the DOL explained
“In making any prevailing wage determination, OFLC must review the provided job description and requirements on the Form ETA 9141 to assign the most appropriate standard occupational classification (SOC) and wage level. Assigning both the SOC and the wage level requires OFLC to have a “baseline” as to the normal requirements for the occupation.
With the July 1, 2022, implementation of the 2018 SOCs, OFLC is lacking this critical baseline information for some of the new SOCs, particularly those in the “new and emerging” classifications where the SOC has two additional digits after the decimal. When OFLC lacks this baseline information, it must proactively conduct research for each new SOC to determine the normal requirements for the particular occupation, including educational requirements, experience requirements, licensure, certification, etc. Once OFLC makes that determination, it can evaluate individual jobs on Forms ETA 9141 against this baseline. When OFLC lacks a baseline for a particular 2018 SOC, OFLC must spend additional resources to research and establish that baseline. Once OFLC establishes the baseline for an SOC, prevailing wage determinations in these new and emerging occupations would be processed much faster moving forward.” Reported by AILA liaison.
We are cautiously optimistic that the processing of PWD’s will improve in 2023. I’m also cautiously optimistic that I’ll go to the gym more in 2023.