Prevailing wage laws help drive economic development and should be enacted or strengthened in every state to protect the middle class, according to a report released this week by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute and Building Strong Communities.
The organizations conducted the study to explore the impact prevailing wage laws have on tax revenues and government assistance.
The study resulted in the following key findings:
- Prevailing wage laws build local middle-class jobs by paying a living wage and protecting the use of in-state contractors.
- Construction workers earn more in states with prevailing wage laws.
- Taxpayers subsidize the low-wage, low-skill, low-quality system in states without prevailing wage laws.
- Prevailing wage laws contribute to government budgets, helping policymakers balance budgets without the need to raise taxes.
“Prevailing wage laws are the best deal for taxpayers,” the report, Self-Sufficient Construction Workers: Why Prevailing Wage Laws are the Best Deal for Taxpayers, states. “Prevailing wage projects are done right the first time, on time and within budget. Workers receiving the prevailing wage pay more in taxes (protecting the tax base) and are less dependent on government assistance subsidized by taxpayers.”