Prevailing wage standards support blue-collar construction workers employed on public works projects. Prevailing wage is essentially a minimum wage for different types of skilled construction workers on taxpayer-funded projects, requiring that construction contractors pay no less than the “prevailing” wage and benefit rates for similar work in the local area where public projects are to be completed. The purpose of prevailing wage is to level the playing field for all contractors by ensuring that public expenditures reflect local market standards of compensation and craftsmanship.
Prevailing wage levels the playing field for contractors and strengthens the economy.
Prevailing wage attracts, develops, and retains skilled workers and improves worksite safety.
Apprenticeship enrollments are 8% higher in states with prevailing wage.
On-the-job fatalities are 14% lower in states with prevailing wage.
Construction worker productivity grew 5% slower after repeal in Indiana.
Prevailing wage promotes ladders into the middle class.
Prevailing wage boosts worker earnings and expands health care coverage in construction
Prevailing wage provides stable careers for veterans, who are more likely to work in the trades
Prevailing wage reduces racial income inequality in construction by 7%-53%.
Prevailing wage is the best value for taxpayers.
Prevailing wage reduces construction worker poverty by 3% and food stamp reliance by 3%.
83% of peer-reviewed studies conducted since 2000 find that prevailing wage has no effect on total construction costs.
“We got rid of prevailing wage and, so far, it hasn’t saved us a penny.”
–Rep. Ed Soliday, Assistant Republican leader in the Indiana House.
Prevailing wage builds quality infrastructure and strong communities in Illinois.
The Economic Impact of Prevailing Wage Law Repeals on Construction Market Outcomes: Evidence from Repeals Between 2015 and 2018
January 17, 2023 |
Building America with Prevailing Wage: The Davis-Bacon Act Delivers Good Middle-Class Jobs, a Strong Economy, and the Best Value for U.S. Taxpayers
April 14, 2017 |
A Weakened State: The Economic and Social Impacts of Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Illinois
October 7, 2013 |
The Impact of Prevailing Wage Laws on Military Veterans: An Economic and Labor Market Analysis
May 10, 2016 |
Prevailing Wage and the American Dream: Impacts on Homeownership, Housing Wealth, and Property Tax Revenues
February 19, 2020 |
An Examination of Minnesota’s Prevailing Wage Law: Effects on Costs, Training, and Economic Development
July 16, 2018 |
The Effects of Repealing Common Construction Wage in Indiana: Impacts on Ten Construction Market Outcomes
January 29, 2018 |