Report Says Prevailing Wage Costs State Less, Increases Productivity

Bluefield Daily Telegraph - While state lawmakers are considering a bill that would abolish the prevailing wage law in West Virginia in an effort to reduce the cost of public construction projects, one group of policy analysts said the wage actually saves the state money. Read

West Virginia is one of 32 states that has a prevailing wage law. Prevailing wages must equal the market wage rates set out by the West Virginia Department of Labor; the state law was enacted in the 1930s after the federal Davis-Bacon Act established the same wages for federal projects.

According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, prevailing wage laws help "ensure that government-funded construction projects are done with highly-skilled workers from the community, increasing productivity and strengthening the economy with good-paying local jobs."

The Center's Sean O'Leary wrote that multiple academic studies show prevailing wage laws do not raise public construction costs, and instead, higher wages have a positive effect on productivity.

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