Report from contractors outlines drawbacks of prevailing wage repeal

The Wisconsin Contractor Coalition is releasing a report contradicting what some have argued would be the benefits of a prevailing wage repeal.

The report comes on the heels of a Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report that suggested state and local governments could save millions on public projects if prevailing wages more accurately reflected market rates, particularly in northern and rural parts of Wisconsin.

The coalition’s report, written by University of Utah economics professor Peter Philips, disputes those findings. Philips compares Wisconsin to states that don’t have prevailing wage laws and concludes that repeal of the law would reduce worker incentive and diminish or eliminate the projected savings of repeal.

“Prevailing wage regulations,” according to the coalition’s report, “mean that the bidding the government uses on public works reinforces rather than undercuts this symbiosis between higher wages, higher productivity, safer workplace, healthier lives, retention of experience, transmission of skills and middle-class blue-collar construction careers.”

The coalition represents more than 450 businesses in Wisconsin.

Read the coalition’s report

Read the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance’s report