Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage

The Davis-Bacon Act has required local prevailing wages on federally-funded and federally-assisted construction projects since 1931. Prevailing wages are minimum wages for public works construction that reflect local market standards for different skilled trades.

Additionally, 29 states, including Illinois, have state-level “little Davis-Bacon Acts” that require prevailing wages on projects funded by state or local government. The main purpose of the Davis-Bacon Act is to protect local construction standards in the competitive public bidding process.

Prevailing wage laws ensure that local construction workers’ wages and fringe benefits standards are not undermined by non-local contractors by setting a locally determined minimum wage and benefits rate for public construction investment.

On any given day, hundreds of thousands of LIUNA members are earning wages and benefits that are impacted directly or indirectly by the prevailing wage. If a construction project includes as little as $2,000 of federal money, Davis Bacon applies to the entire project. It’s estimated in our 9 county jurisdiction 70% of road construction alone is covered by Davis Bacon. Without these laws, LIUNA members earn less, have fewer benefits and the entire construction industry suffers.