Prevailing Wage

Wisconsin Wages

Wisconsin's Prevailing Wage Law is critical to growing private-sector, high-skill professional construction jobs and developing high-quality, cost-effective projects in your communities.

A "Prevailing" wage is not "Union"wage. In fact, roughly 80 percent of the 2009 Wisconsin wage determinations were based on NON-UNION labor wages.

Prevailing wages are not driving construction costs higher “construction materials are. Key construction materials like steel, concrete and liquid asphalt have increased more than 200 percent “sometimes as high as 300 percent“ in the past decade and are the primary driver for escalating costs on projects. And in road construction, for instance, wages only comprise about 25% of construction costs.

Prevailing wages fund worker-development and skills-training and create cost-saving efficiencies. Workers that are better trained can utilize the latest technologies, save time and, ultimately, save money for taxpayers. In Wisconsin, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data shows that our road construction costs per mile are lower than states with significantly lower wages because of the extensive training on the most technologically advanced machinery made possible by prevailing wages. Well-trained, higher-skilled workers produce more value than poorly-trained, low-wage workers.Because private-sector workers receive the latest training on the most advanced machinery, the projects they work on have shorter build-times and greater durability over time.

Don"t believe us? Then how about unbiased studies from Colorado and Illinois that show prevailing wages do not increase the cost of construction and Wisconsin construction worker productivity is amongst the highest in the country.

The approved Wisconsin budget bill, (2011 Wisconsin Act 32), including AB 40, contains the Summary of Prevailing Wage Law Changes, includes changes to prevailing wage laws, effective JULY 1, 2011. According to Governor Walker, the legislative reforms reduce regulatory burdens on business expansion by streamlining reporting and eligibility requirements under the Prevailing Wage law.

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