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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Frequently Asked Questions

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IV. Davis-Bacon Wage Surveys

When is data from federal projects included in Davis-Bacon wage surveys?

The purpose of a Davis-Bacon wage survey is to collect information on wage and fringe benefits rates paid to mechanics and laborers working on construction projects of a similar character in a predetermined geographic area and during a specified calendar period. Established criteria are used to ensure surveys properly observe established time frames, construction types, geographic areas, classifications, area practices, and accepted procedures for data computation and survey notification. In addition, the criteria cover adequacy of the survey data. Survey data adequacy is examined through use of the overall usable response rate and employment criteria for individual classes. In general, only private construction wage data are used wherever possible on building and residential construction wage surveys. Federal wage data are always included in heavy and highway wage surveys.

However, whenever the private construction survey response rate for a county is less than 25 percent, or the private construction data are insufficient to determine prevailing wage rates for one half of the key classes expected to be required for the construction covered, Federal construction wage data will be used pursuant to the Wage Appeals Board (WAB) ruling in Appeal of General Wage Determination Nos. ID85-5013 and ID86-0004, State of Idaho, WAB Case Number 86-22. If there is still insufficient data to develop a wage determination, private construction wage data from an adjoining similar county will be combined with the private data from the first county. If this procedure still does not yield sufficient private construction wage data, Federal construction data will be considered. The review described above will continue until a wage determination is developed.

Because there is no method to accurately forecast the amount of wage data which will be voluntarily submitted by interested parties, all wage data whether federal or private is requested. As stated above, the wage data from Federal construction are not commingled until it is determined that the private wage data are insufficient.