Labor Department to issue pro-union final rule on construction worker pay: Report

Washington Examiner cites CEI’s Sean Higgins on union regulations:

Sean Higgins, a research fellow at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Examiner that the key question, and the one being changed as part of the final rule, is how the government calculates what a prevailing wage is. The wage is calculated through surveys of the area.

Under Davis-Bacon, prior to this expected rule, to calculate the prevailing wage, a majority of those providing wages had to be surveyed. But under the revised rule, a prevailing wage can be determined from a survey of just 30% of the workers.

“The issue there being of course if it’s just 30% then it’s not clear that that is in fact the prevailing wage. It might be out of step with the other 70%,” Higgins said. “But that’s sort of the reason why they’re doing it, it gives the administration leeway to sort of fudge the numbers and require even higher wages under Davis-Bacon.”

Up until the 1980s, wage rates were seen as prevailing if they were paid to at least 30% of workers in a given area. That was replaced in 1982 when it was replaced by the greater-than-50% requirement. So the Biden-era rule in a way reverts back to the previous standard.

Read the full article on Washington Examiner.