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Construction glossary

What is a Prevailing Wage?

A Prevailing Wage refers to the hourly rate, benefits and overtime, paid to the majority of workers, laborers, and mechanics within a particular area. In the construction industry, it's the standard wage contractors and subcontractors must pay their workers when working on government projects. It's derived from the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 which mandates that workers on federal construction projects must be paid at least the prevailing wages in the local area. The goal is to maintain fairness and prevent undercutting of wages. It includes various types of construction jobs from carpentry, electricians, ironworkers to bricklayers. The rate differs from location to location and job to job.