• Wisconsin repealed prevailing wage for more than 90% of public projects.
  • Indiana fully repealed prevailing wage for all public projects.
  • Anti-worker forces are pushing to repeal prevailing wage in Michigan right now.
  • Anti-worker forces are pushing to weaken or repeal prevailing wage in West VA.
  • Minnesota has seen attempts to weaken prevailing wage laws in the last 5 years.
What is prevailing wage?
  • Prevailing Wage laws set wage rates for construction workers on publicly financed projects.
  • On prevailing wage jobs, contractors are not allowed to pay less than the area wage rates for each craft.
  • The wage rates are set by the government – each area of the state has their own rates.
  • Rates are based on wage surveys turned in by contractors and workers on construction jobs in their area.
  • The government sets the rates for each area based on those surveys and what workers make on those jobs.
Which projects have Prevailing Wage requirements in Local 49 jurisdiction?
  • All federally funded projects are covered by Davis-Bacon wage rates.
  • Minnesota has a state prevailing wage law that applies to all projects with any state funding.
  • City, County, and School District funded jobs in Minnesota do not have prevailing wage protection unless that local government has passed their own prevailing wage law. Many City, County and School Districts throughout Minnesota have passed their own local prevailing wage ordinances.
  • North Dakota does not have a state prevailing wage law – city, county, school district or state funded jobs do not have prevailing wage protection.
  • South Dakota does not have a state prevailing wage law – city, county, school district or state funded jobs do not have prevailing wage protection.
Why is Prevailing Wage important to construction workers?

1. Prevailing wage laws allow you to earn good wages and benefits

  • Local Contractors that pay good wages, both Union and Non-Union, are protected in the bidding process from cheap labor out of state competitors coming in and taking work away from local skilled workers and contractors.
  • If contractors can’t win bids paying good wages and benefits – they are forced to cut wages and benefits to compete.

2. Prevailing wage laws benefit Union and Non-Union construction workers

  • Union and Non-Union workers make the prevailing wage on those projects.
  • Area wage standards protect both Union and Non-Union skilled workers from being undercut in the market by unskilled workers.

3. Prevailing wage laws are critical to public safety, and protect taxpayers investments

  • Where prevailing wage is weak or doesn’t exist you invite contractors that employ unskilled cheap labor to build your infrastructure and buildings – unskilled labor will build unsafe bridges, buildings, etc.
  • You get what you pay for – infrastructure and buildings paid for by taxpayers should be built to last, not on the cheap – it costs less to build it right the first time with skilled professionals than it does to build it cheap with unskilled labor.


• Less workforce training
• Less educated and less experienced workforce
• Higher injury rates
• Increased lawsuits



  • The Adverse Economic From Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in West Virginia

  • Short Evaluation of Alex Rosaen’s 2013 Prevailing Wage Methodology

  • Midwest Economic Policy Institute’s Cost of Repealing Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Policy