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Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Determinations Need to Be Calculated Scientifically

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Publication Date: March 2008

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): James Sherk

Series: Backgrounder

Topic: Labor (Labor conditions, wages, salaries, and benefits)

Keywords: Labor; Davis-Bacon Act; federal construction project; federal contractor

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division uses a highly flawed methodology to calculate Davis-Bacon rates and takes years to update wage rates after they are published. The Bureau of Labor Statistics already estimates wages using accurate scientific methods. Congress should require the Department of Labor to use these BLS surveys to set Davis-Bacon wage rates.