State by State Research

More information from the studies on prevailing wage.

California

“The Value of Linking Good Construction Jobs to California’s Housing Reforms.” Alex Lantsberg, MCP, AICP. March 2017.

The housing industry may have difficulty finding workers in sufficient numbers and with the requisite skills to build the housing it needs. Despite the fact that construction employment has only recovered to levels seen in 2000, unemployment rates are relatively low. Housing development at the scale envisioned by state policy makers will entail a jump in demand for construction labor that likely will outstrip supply unless industry wages and benefits improve.

Building the Golden State: The Economic Impacts of California’s Prevailing Wage Policy.” Kevin Duncan & Alex Lantsberg. Colorado State University– Pueblo and Smart Cities Prevail. March 2015.

Abstract: If prevailing wage were eliminated in California, it would cost the state more than 17,500 jobs – not just in the construction industry, but across the economy. In addition, more than $1.4 billion in wages and $1.5 billion in economic output would be sacrificed. It would also lead to greater inefficiencies in the construction industry with 5% greater materials use and per worker productivity declines of 12%.

The Social and Economic Effects of Wage Violations: Estimates for California and New York.” Prepared by Eastern Research Group, Inc. for the U.S. Department of Labor. Dec 2014.

Abstract: There are 334,000-372,000 minimum wage violations in California and 188,000-339,000 minimum wage violations in New York. Each estimates represents about 3-4% of the workforce. The result is $23-$29 million in lost worker income per week in California and $10-$20 million in lost worker income per week for New York.

“Economic, Fiscal and Social Impacts of Prevailing Wage in San Jose, California.” Working Partnership USA. April 2011.

Abstract: Municipal building projects covered by a prevailing wage policy employ a higher proportion of local contractors and local workers. If prevailing wage coverage is removed from a municipal building project, roughly 6% of the project’s value leaks from the Santa Clara County economy. If prevailing wage had not applied to San Jose’s 2007-2012 municipal building projects: total economic activity in the County would have fallen by $164 million and 1,510 fewer local jobs would have been created in the County.

Moving LA Forward: Promoting Construction Careers at Metro.” Jackelyn Cornejo. LAANE. January 2011.

Abstract: Targeted Hire programs in Los Angeles’ transit system would create 18,400 local jobs and generate $2.8 billion in economic activity in Los Angeles County, or $36,800 per Target Hire worker. The result would be $65 million in tax revenue for Los Angeles County.

Project Labor Agreements.” Dale Belman, Matthew Bodah, & Peter Philips. Michigan State University, University of Rhode Island, and University of Utah. 2007.

Abstract: The authors find that there is no statistically significant difference in the number of bids after one school district adopted a PLA in San Jose, California.

Colorado

“Review of RLB| Rider Levett Bucknall Report: Project Labor Agreements – Denver Update.” Kevin Duncan. Colorado State University– Pueblo. No date.

Abstract: This study is a critique of a report which did not use statistical methods to test of the costs of PLA versus non-PLA projects. Duncan explains that the appropriate cost impact of the facility should be based on a comparison of labor costs under Davis-Bacon and a PLA, and should also account for the fact that non-labor costs are not constant when wage rates increase– contractors substitute less expensive inputs for more expensive labor.

Connecticut

Impact of Prevailing Wages on the Economy and Communities of Connecticut.” Peter Philips & Cihan Bilginsoy. University of Utah. January 2010.

Abstract: A moratorium on the prevailing wage law in Connecticut would cost the state $214-$432 million annually in lost income through lower construction sector earnings and reduced demand for local products and services in workers’ communities. This would also cost the state $15-$31 million annually (in 2008 dollars). A moratorium that would discourage apprenticeship training and compromise Connecticut’s skilled and safe construction workforce. The rate of attrition was substantially higher in “open shop” apprenticeship programs (61%) than in joint labor-management apprenticeship programs (42%).

Delaware

Delaware’s Prevailing Wage Law: Its History, Purpose and Effect.” Peter Philips. University of Utah. May 1998.

Abstract: The key analysis in this study is the examination of actual square foot construction costs of schools built in states with and without prevailing wage laws from 1991-1997, which includes 1,700 elementary schools, 900 middle schools, and 600 high schools. In states with PWL, public elementary schools cost 3% more to build than private elementary schools not covered by PWL. However, in states that do not have PWL, public schools cost 8% more to build than private schools. Two models control for other factors and find no measureable increase in construction costs associated with prevailing wage.

Idaho

The Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Idaho: Economic Myths and Realities.” Michael DiNoto & Steven Peterson. University of Idaho. 6/15/00.

Abstract: Contact author Steven Peterson, Assistant Clinical Professor of Economics, University of Idaho at [email protected].

Illinois

A Weakened State: The Economic and Social Impacts of Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Illinois.” Alison Dickson Quesada, Frank Manzo IV, Dale Belman, & Robert Bruno. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Michigan State University, and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute. October 2013.

Abstract: Repeal of Illinois’ prevailing wage law would result in 3,300 job losses throughout the state, a $1 billion decrease in GDP, and $44 million in lost tax revenue. The “apprenticeship share” is much higher (14.4%) in states with a PWL than in those without a PWL (7.7%). From 2008-2010, the construction fatality rate was 10.8 per 100,000 workers in PWL states compared to 12.1 per 100,000 in non-PWL states. If Illinois repealed its PWL, approximately 70 more construction workers would suffer workplace-related deaths over ten years than with the PWL.

Road and Bridge Construction Workers in the Midwest: Productive, High-Skilled, and Well-Paid.” Frank Manzo IV & Robert Bruno. Midwest Economic Policy Institute and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 3/1/15.

Abstract: Construction workers in the Great Lakes region– IL, IN, MI, OH, WI– build highways 43 percent cheaper than the national average. In addition, value added is $155,100 per employee annually in Great Lakes states, the second-highest of any region. The only region with higher productivity is the Far West (AK, CA, HI, NV, OR, WA). The correlation between strong/average PWLs and road construction worker productivity is 0.62.

“Building a Strong County” reports. Frank Manzo IV. Illinois Economic Policy Institute. 2014-2015.
Lake County, IL | DuPage County, IL | Kane County, IL | McHenry County, IL | Northwest Illinois.

Abstract: These commentaries go step-by-step to show that prevailing wages are not inflated or arbitrary but are in fact the local market wage. In most cases, the union contractor’s share of bids, wins, and market share are all 95%-100%, so the union wage is in fact the market wage. In addition, median homeowner costs in each county would account for 30%-43% of a laborer’s take-home income from working 1,600 hours on prevailing wage projects, so the policy does not support purchasing a home in most Illinois counties without having a spouse, partner, or roommate. Apprenticeship programs in northern Illinois require more total hours of training than the minimum requirements to receive a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.

“Which Labor Market Institutions Reduce Income Inequality? Labor Unions, Prevailing Wage Laws, and Right-to-Work Laws in the Construction Industry.” Frank Manzo IV & Robert Bruno. Illinois Economic Policy Institute and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 1/29/14.

Abstract: PWLs reduce income inequality between the highest earners (Top 10 Percent) and the lowest earners (Bottom 10 Percent) by 45% in construction. Prevailing wage laws also lift workers into middle-class jobs but have no negative effect on those at the top.

Self-Sufficient Construction Workers: Why Prevailing Wage Laws are the Best Deal for Taxpayers.” Frank Manzo IV & LeNee Carroll. Midwest Economic Policy Institute and Building Strong Communities. 8/11/14.

Abstract: Among construction workers, those in non-PWL states contribute 25% of all after-credit federal income tax revenues while those in PWL states contribute 75%. However, construction workers in non-PWL states receive more than they put in, getting 32-33% of all EITC and food stamp benefits paid to construction workers. This study concludes that taxpayers do not save from repealing prevailing wage laws, they subsidize.

Prevailing Wage Laws, Contractor Profits, and the Economic Pie.” Frank Manzo IV. Illinois Economic Policy Institute. 1/28/15.

Abstract: This is an introductory look at how contractors respond to PWLs, which has since been improved and expanded upon by Duncan and Lantsberg. Capital “captures” a larger share of the economic pie in states without effective PWLs, indicating that repeal would redistribute wealth from workers to employers.

Efficiencies of Project Labor Agreements: Illinois Capital Development Board Projects, 2011-2013.” Frank Manzo IV & Robert Bruno. Illinois Economic Policy Institute and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 5/18/15.

Abstract: In their use by the Capital Development Board, projects covered under Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) from 2011 to 2013 were found to: support female and nonwhite business owners in the effort to diversify the construction industry; experience cost overruns at a lower rate than a survey of “mega-projects” in the private sector; and increase Illinois’ economic output by at least $1.0 billion, supporting over 3 million hours of uninterrupted work for nearly 1,700 blue-collar construction workers. By ensuring a stable supply of skilled workers and instituting uniform work rules, PLAs reduced risk for government agencies. The PLA is a vital cost efficiency tool that promotes safe, economy-boosting infrastructure for Illinois.

“Policies that Support Employment: Investments in Public Education, Investments in Public Infrastructure, and a Balanced State Budget.” Frank Manzo IV & Robert Bruno. Illinois Economic Policy Institute and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 7/7/15.

Abstract: While this report is not a prevailing wage study, it is important in the dialogue about investing in infrastructure. Out of 24 policies, phenomena, and practices, only five were found to impact a state’s employment rate: the share of the workforce with a bachelor’s degree or higher (+), the percentage of 3-4 year olds enrolled in state early childhood education programs (+), the highway share of state expenditures (+), the mean travel time to work (-), and a higher budget surplus (+). By promoting fiscal responsibility and ensuring that highway expenditures are spent productively and safely, prevailing wage indirectly supports the employment rate.

Unions Can Increase Efficiency: Ten Examples.” Frank Manzo IV. Illinois Economic Policy Institute. 9/1/15.

Indiana

Indiana’s Common Construction Wage Law: An Economic Impact Analysis.” Peter Phillips. University of Utah. January 2015.

Abstract: In Indiana, only the joint labor-management programs invest serious money in training. Only 6% of the annual investment in apprentice training comes from nonunion apprenticeship programs while Indiana’s union contractors provide 94% of annual apprenticeship training expenditures. In states with common construction wage laws (PWLs), workers are more 21-33% more productive.

Common Sense Construction: The Economic Impacts of Indiana’s Common Construction Wage.” Frank Manzo, Robert Bruno, & Scott Littlehale. Midwest Economic Policy Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Smart Cities Prevail. 06/23/14

Abstract: Indiana’s Common Construction Wage kept Hoosier jobs local, supporting 2,000 non-construction jobs, $700 million in state GDP, and $21 million in total state and local tax revenues. The report also investigates the cost impact associated with weakening prevailing wage: In 2013, the project cost threshold for coverage under Indiana’s PWL was increased. An analysis of 137 projects in 14 northern Indiana counties found that the threshold change and an increased number of bidders (“competition”) had no impact on whether a union contractor was awarded a project. If prevailing wage only helps union contractors, the threshold change should have lowered the chances of a union contractor winning a project – it did not.

Road and Bridge Construction Workers in the Midwest: Productive, High-Skilled, and Well-Paid.” Frank Manzo IV & Robert Bruno. Midwest Economic Policy Institute and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 3/1/15.

Abstract: Construction workers in the Great Lakes region– IL, IN, MI, OH, WI– build highways 43 percent cheaper than the national average. In addition, value added is $155,100 per employee annually in Great Lakes states, the second-highest of any region. The only region with higher productivity is the Far West (AK, CA, HI, NV, OR, WA). The correlation between strong/average PWLs and road construction worker productivity is 0.62.

Iowa

“Quality Construction – Strong Communities: The Effect of Prevailing Wage Regulation on the Construction Industry in Iowa.” Peter Philips. University of Utah. March 2008.

Abstract: Prevailing wage laws raise productivity, possibly by inducing better management of projects, higher training standards, and more capital investment. Non-prevailing wage states create an environment where contractors cut corners on safety, training, and payroll regulations in an attempt to offer lower bids. In Iowa, an estimated 2,500 workers were misclassified as independent subcontractors in order to save on payrolls. The misclassification of workers deprives the state of tax revenues.

Kansas

Kansas and Prevailing Wage Legislation.” Peter Philips. University of Utah. 02/20/1998.

Abstract: A case-study comparison of new school construction costs in Kansas compared to surrounding Great Plains states that retained their prevailing wage laws finds no difference in square foot construction costs. Apprenticeship training in Kansas fell by 38% (and minority apprentices fell even more, by 56%). Skilled and experienced older workers were replaced by younger, less-experienced, less trained workers. Additionally, in the five years after repeal, serious-injury rates in Kansas construction rose by 21% compared to prior to repeal.

Kentucky

Kentucky’s Prevailing Wage Law: An Economic Impact Analysis.” Peter Phillips. University of Utah. January 2014.

Abstract: Construction workers in states with PWLs are more productive than those in states without PWLs: 21% more productive in water, sewer, and related construction; 31% more productive in highway, street, and bridge construction; and 33% more productive in other heavy and civil engineering work. Repeal of prevailing wage would reduce construction worker incomes by $75-152 million, reduce state sales and income tax revenues by $10-20 million, and result in less training for blue-collar construction workers.

“A Comparison of Public School Construction Costs: In Three Midwestern States that Have Changed Their Prevailing Wage Laws in the 1990s.” Philips, Peter. University of Utah. February 2001.

Abstract: This study of public school construction costs in Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan from 1991-2000 found that prevailing wage has no significant impact on school construction costs. Instead of raising costs, the study found that the payment of prevailing wages entices contractors to hire and train a more skilled and productive labor force.

“Low Road Detour: How Repealing Prevailing Wages Will Hurt Kentucky.” Peter Phillips. University of Utah. January 2006.

Abstract: Prevailing wage regulations help preserve quality workmanship and insure against downstream remakes, repairs, and undue maintenance cost – which help to lower overall construction costs. Local economies that develop a high-skilled construction labor force are better positioned to compete in all the industries that rely upon technologically advanced and solid construction. In the big picture, the high-skilled construction development path builds a blue-collar middle-class in Kentucky.

Maryland

Prevailing Wage Laws and School Construction Costs: An Analysis of Public School Construction in Maryland and the Mid Atlantic States.” Mark Prus. State University of New York– Cortland. January 1999.

Abstract: A formal statistical model capable of controlling for multiple factors affecting school construction costs factors confirms that there is no measurable or statistically significant increase in construction costs associated with prevailing wage.

Massachusetts

Project Labor Agreements’ Effect on School Construction Costs in Massachusetts.” Dale Belman, Russell Ormiston, Richard Kelso, William Schriver, & Kenneth Frank. Industrial Relations, Vol. 49, No. 1. January 2010.

Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on school construction cost in Massachusetts. The report finds that it is difficult to distinguish the cost effects of PLAs from the cost effects of factors that underlie the use of PLAs.

Michigan

The Cost of Repealing Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Policy: Impacts on Total Construction Costs and Economic Activity.” Kevin Duncan, Alex Lantsberg, & Frank Manzo IV. Colorado State University– Pueblo, Smart Cities Prevail, and the Midwest Economic Policy Institute. 6/25/15.

Abstract: Prevailing wage is a positive economic development tool providing substantial benefits to workers, contractors, families, and the overall economy. Michigan’s proposed prevailing wage repeal would eliminate more than 11,000 jobs, $1.7 billion in economic output, and $28 million in local and state tax revenue, and will export nearly $700 million in construction investments out of state every year. There is no change in total construction costs because component expenditures are shifted around.

“Mr. Rosaen’s Magical Thinking: A Short Evaluation of Alex Rosaen’s 2013 Prevailing Wage Methodology.” Peter Phillips. University of Michigan. 2013.

Abstract: This paper critically reviews Alex L. Rosaen’s The Impact of Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Law on Education Construction Expenditures, Anderson Economic Group, LLC, commissioned by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan. It is shown that the bases for Rosaen’s assumptions are outdated and miscalculated. An alternative methodology using statistical tests is suggested that provides more stable results, leading to the conclusion that Rosaen’s estimates are unreliable.

“A Comparison of Public School Construction Costs: In Three Midwestern States that Have Changed Their Prevailing Wage Laws in the 1990s.” Philips, Peter. University of Utah. February 2001.

Abstract: This study of public school construction costs in Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan from 1991-2000 found that prevailing wage has no significant impact on school construction costs. Instead of raising costs, the study found that the payment of prevailing wages entices contractors to hire and train a more skilled and productive labor force.

Road and Bridge Construction Workers in the Midwest: Productive, High-Skilled, and Well-Paid.” Frank Manzo IV & Robert Bruno. Midwest Economic Policy Institute and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 3/1/15.

Abstract: Construction workers in the Great Lakes region– IL, IN, MI, OH, WI– build highways 43 percent cheaper than the national average. In addition, value added is $155,100 per employee annually in Great Lakes states, the second-highest of any region. The only region with higher productivity is the Far West (AK, CA, HI, NV, OR, WA). The correlation between strong/average PWLs and road construction worker productivity is 0.62.

Minnesota

An Evaluation of Prevailing Wage in Minnesota: Implementation, Comparability and Outcomes.” Lisa Jordan, Robert Bruno, Phil Schrader, & Tony Sindone. Brevard College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Minnesota, and Indiana University– South Bend. October 2006.

Abstract: 1) The survey method to gather data for determining prevailing wage rates is both valid and reliable. 2) The enforcement of prevailing wage in Minnesota is constrained by a lack of resources. A more effective approach could include more systematic auditing and creating a private right of action. 3) Repealing or weakening the prevailing wage statute would cost the Minnesota between $38-$178 million in tax revenues, a weakening of apprenticeship training programs, an increase in injury rates, and a reduction in construction employee wages.

Missouri

The Adverse Economic Impact from Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Missouri.” Michael Kelsay, James Sturgeon, & Kelly Pinkham with Richard Wagner, Devin Rafferty, & Sabina Lopez Ennen. University of Missouri– Kansas City. December 2011.

Abstract: Repeal of prevailing wage in Missouri would not save dollars on construction costs and would result in a negative economic impact on the Missouri economy. Repeal would result in $300-$452 million in lost worker income and $24-36 million in lost state sales and income tax revenues annually. The study also investigates the impact of right-to-work on Missouri.

Nevada

“Report on the Prevailing Wage Law of Nevada: Its History, Cost and Effects.” Peter Philips. University of Utah. May 2001.

Abstract: Nevada construction workers earned relatively more in wages and received more in health insurance and pension contributions from their employers than their counterparts in Arizona, a state that repealed its PWL. In addition, a national survey of “owners’ (those who buy construction services) found that they believe joint labor-management apprentices are more likely to be properly trained and do the job right the first time.

New York

The Social and Economic Effects of Wage Violations: Estimates for California and New York.” Prepared by Eastern Research Group, Inc. for the U.S. Department of Labor. Dec 2014.

Abstract: There are 334,000-372,000 minimum wage violations in California and 188,000-339,000 minimum wage violations in New York. Each estimates represents about 3-4% of the workforce. The result is $23-$29 million in lost worker income per week in California and $10-$20 million in lost worker income per week for New York.

“The Economic Development Benefits of Prevailing Wage.” Fiscal Policy Institute. May 2006.

Abstract: An extensive economics literature shows that prevailing wage in construction means more cost-effective construction, and more skilled and better-paid workers. Prevailing wage standards are a fundamental building block for a strong local, “high-road” economy.

Ohio

“The Economic, Fiscal, and Social Effects of Ohio’s Prevailing Wage Law,” Lameck Onsarigo, Ph. D., Alan Atalah, Ph. D., Frank Manzo IV, M.P.P. and Kevin Duncan, Ph. D., April 10, 2017.

The main purpose of a prevailing wage law is to protect local construction labor standards from distortions associated with publicly-funded construction. Large infusions of government spending into an area, along with a contract award process that favors the lowest bidder, may attract contractors from areas where construction worker wage rates are relatively low. Any appreciable infusion of low-wage contractors could result in the erosion of local compensation standards. Prevailing wage laws create a level playing field for all contractors by ensuring that public works expenditures maintain and support local area standards.

Report Fact Sheet: The Economic, Fiscal, and Social Effects of Ohio’s Prevailing Wage Law, Lameck Onsarigo, Ph. D.; Alan Atalah, Ph. D.; Frank Manzo IV, M.P.P.; and Kevin Duncan, Ph. D.

Do Responsible Contractor Policies Increase Construction Bid Costs? C. Jeffrey Waddoups & David C. May. Industrial Relations, Vol. 53, No. 2. April 2014.

Abstract: Beginning in 2000, some school districts in Ohio required contractors to incorporate health insurance coverage, among other items, into their bids. This study sheds empirical light on the controversy. We estimate construction bid costs using data on elementary school projects bid in Ohio from 1997 to 2008, some of which were covered by an RCP and some of which were not. The results indicate that once we account for variation in geographic location of schools, RCPs exert no statistically discernible impact on construction bid costs.

“Impact of Prevailing Wages on the Cost Along the Different Construction Trade.” Alan Atalah. Bowling Green State University. December 2013.

Abstract: In 1997, the Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 102 which exempted construction contractors from paying prevailing wages on school construction projects. A statistical analysis of 8,093 bids received for school construction from 2000 to 2007 compared the bid price per square foot (bids/SF) from both union and nonunion contractors found that there was no significant difference between the bids/SF for union contractors and the bids/SF for non-union contractors.

“A Comparison of Public School Construction Costs: In Three Midwestern States that Have Changed Their Prevailing Wage Laws in the 1990s.” Philips, Peter. University of Utah. February 2001.

Abstract: This study of public school construction costs in Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan from 1991-2000 found that prevailing wage has no significant impact on school construction costs. Instead of raising costs, the study found that the payment of prevailing wages entices contractors to hire and train a more skilled and productive labor force.

Road and Bridge Construction Workers in the Midwest: Productive, High-Skilled, and Well-Paid.” Frank Manzo IV & Robert Bruno. Midwest Economic Policy Institute and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 3/1/15.

Abstract: Construction workers in the Great Lakes region– IL, IN, MI, OH, WI– build highways 43 percent cheaper than the national average. In addition, value added is $155,100 per employee annually in Great Lakes states, the second-highest of any region. The only region with higher productivity is the Far West (AK, CA, HI, NV, OR, WA). The correlation between strong/average PWLs and road construction worker productivity is 0.62.

“Analysis of Regression and Surveys in Ohio LSC Report on S.B. 102 on Claimed Cost Savings from Exempting School Construction from Prevailing Wage Requirements.” Herbert Weisberg. The Ohio State University. 7/8/02.

Abstract: This report finds that the Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC) report is invalid. Every preceding analysis for Ohio and other states had found that prevailing wage does not significantly increase costs, which the LSC Report actually reaffirms. The LSC report notes multiple times that there was no evidence that prevailing wage contributed to the reduction in school construction costs (Example: “Evidence was not available as to the portion of the estimated savings, if any, that could be directly and conclusively attributed to the prevailing wage exemption”).

Oregon

Oregon’s Prevailing Wage Law: Benefiting the Public, the Worker, and the Employer.” Michael Sheehen, Robert Lee, & Lisa Nuss. Oregon and Southwest Washington Fair Contracting Foundation. 2000.

Abstract: Oregon’s prevailing wage act is a public commitment to the high-skill, high-productivity path. The act reduces accidents on the job; does not increase the cost of public project construction; is not “racist;” and has been beneficial to public agencies building public projects.

Pennsylvania

The Benefits of State Prevailing Wage Laws.” Mark Price and Stephen Herzenberg. Keystone Research Center. 10/3/11.

Abstract: Without family supporting wages, health and old-age insurance, and training, Pennsylvania’s construction industry will not attract and retain a qualified workforce. Prevailing wage laws refocus competition on efforts to raise productivity and quality.

Do Lower Prevailing Wages Reduce Public Construction Costs? Howard Wial. Keystone Research Center and Rutgers University. July 1999.

Abstract: For the period in which they existed, Pennsylvania’s lower prevailing wage and benefit requirements had no measurable impact on construction costs in the state. If the lower prevailing wage and benefit rates were intended to save taxpayers money, they failed to achieve that goal.

Utah

The Effects of the Repeal of Utah’s Prevailing Wage Law.” Hamid Azari-Rad, Anne Yeagle, & Peter Philips. University of Utah. 9/24/93.

Abstract: Construction wage premiums fell 2 percentage points after the state repealed its prevailing wage law. Including benefits, the wage premium falls even further. In addition, apprenticeship training fell to historically low levels post-repeal.

Washington

An Analysis of House Bill 1073: Proposed Legislation to Alter Prevailing Wages in the State of Washington.” Kevin Duncan for the Washington & Northern Idaho District Council of Laborers. 2/18/15. Report distributed to Washington state representatives.

Abstract: “Random stratified sampling,” if not conducted properly, will result in inaccurate prevailing wage rates. The current survey method used by the Department of Labor and Industries avoids the challenges, expense, and problems associated with switching to a random stratified sampling approach. Concerns about the current survey method can be addressed by finding ways to increase survey response rates.

West Virginia

“The Adverse Economic Impact from Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in West Virginia.” Michael Kelsay, University of Missouri-Kansas City. January 2015.

Abstract: Repeal of the prevailing wage statute in West Virginia would not save dollars on construction costs and would result in a negative economic impact on families in West Virginia, taxpayers in West Virginia, and the state and regional economies in West Virginia.

Problems with using Occupational Employment Statistics in the Determination of Prevailing Wage Rates.” Kevin Duncan & Peter Philips. Colorado State University– Pueblo and University of Utah. Prepared for the Affiliated Construction Trades of West Virginia. 3/18/15.

Abstract: There are three basic problems with using the OES for prevailing wage determination– (1) it includes residential construction; (2) it excludes benefits; and (3) it uses data that are up to three years old. In addition, it does not collect information on hours or overtime. It cannot report data by county, and it attributes all of a contractor’s work to the contractors business address regardless of where the actual construction worksite is.

West Virginia’s Prevailing Wage: Good for Business, Good for Workers.” Sean O’Leary. West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy. January 2015.

Abstract: Multiple academic studies have shown that prevailing wage laws do not raise public construction costs; instead the impact of higher wages on costs is compensated by the positive effect on productivity. West Virginia’s school construction costs are lower than its surrounding states, including Virginia, which does not have a prevailing wage law and Ohio, which exempts school construction from its prevailing wage law. Using wage rates from the Occupational and Employment Statistics data rather than the current prevailing wage rates would result in poverty-level incomes for many construction occupations.

Wisconsin

How Weakening Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Policy Would Affect Public Construction Costs and Economic Activity.” Kevin Duncan & Alex Lantsberg. Colorado State University– Pueblo and Smart Cities Prevail. 5/22/15.

Abstract: Prevailing wage repeal in Wisconsin would eliminate 2,660 jobs, $1.2 billion in economic output, and $39 million in local and state tax revenue, and will export $468 million in construction investments out of state every year.

Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Law: An Economic Impact Analysis.” Report to the Wisconsin Senate Labor & Government Reform Committee. Peter Philips. University of Utah. April 2015.

Abstract: Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law helps promote training and skill formation and supports middle-class blue-collar families. Eliminating prevailing-wage protections will lead Wisconsin in the opposite direction towards the decline of apprenticeship training, the rise of low-wage, no-benefit jobs, the emergence of chronic skill shortages and the call for guest-worker programs to provide a fix for problems that under prevailing-wage regulations do not exist. In Wisconsin, union contractors provide 95% of annual apprenticeship training expenditures.

Prevailing Wage Laws in Construction: The Costs of Repeal to Wisconsin.” Dale Belman & Paula Voos. University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and University of Wisconsin – Madison. The Institute for Wisconsin’s Future. October 1995.

Abstract: Prevailing wage results in lower maintenance costs by ensuring construction quality and contractor stability, a decrease in cost overruns, a lower incidence of construction-related injuries and reduced workers’ compensation costs. Prevailing wage laws ensure that the competitive bidding process is not used to undermine community wage levels and living standards.

Road and Bridge Construction Workers in the Midwest: Productive, High-Skilled, and Well-Paid.” Frank Manzo IV & Robert Bruno. Midwest Economic Policy Institute and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 3/1/15.

Abstract: Construction workers in the Great Lakes region– IL, IN, MI, OH, WI– build highways 43 percent cheaper than the national average. In addition, value added is $155,100 per employee annually in Great Lakes states, the second-highest of any region. The only region with higher productivity is the Far West (AK, CA, HI, NV, OR, WA). The correlation between strong/average PWLs and road construction worker productivity is 0.62.

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