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Wage and Hour Division
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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Frequently Asked Questions

IV. Davis-Bacon Wage Surveys


What are Davis-Bacon Wage Surveys?

The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) require the payment of prevailing wages to laborers and mechanics employed on the site of the work of certain federal or federally assisted contracts for construction, alteration, or repair. For more information about the types of contracts covered by the DBRA, visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts/dbra.htm. The Davis-Bacon Act requires the Secretary of Labor to determine the prevailing wage and fringe benefit rates that are included in DBRA-covered contracts. To determine such rates, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) obtains and compiles wage rate information through a survey program conducted in accordance with the DBRA’s implementing regulations.

The wage rate information collected through WHD surveys is used to publish “general” wage determinations. General wage determinations are published on the Wage Determinations Online (WDOL) website, at www.wdol.gov, and reflect those rates determined by WHD to be prevailing in a specific geographic area, typically a county, for the type of construction described, i.e., building, residential, highway or heavy construction. If there is a general wage determination applicable to a DBRA-covered project, the contracting agency may incorporate the wage determination into the contract without consulting the Department of Labor.