Skip to page content
Wage and Hour Division
Bookmark and Share

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Frequently Asked Questions

IV. Davis-Bacon Wage Surveys


How are prevailing wage rates calculated?

The following basic rules apply to calculation of prevailing wage rates:

Basic hourly rate. The prevailing wage is the wage paid to the majority (greater than 50 percent) of the workers in the classification on similar projects in the area during the relevant period. If the same wage is not paid to a majority of workers in the classification, then the prevailing wage is the weighted average wage rate. See 29 C.F.R. § 1.2(a)(1).

Fringe benefit rate. If more than 50 percent of the workers in a single classification are paid any fringe benefits, then fringe benefits prevail. In determining the amount of prevailing fringe benefits, WHD follows the same rules set forth above with respect to calculation of prevailing hourly wage rates, i.e., the prevailing fringe benefit rate is the rate paid to the majority (greater than 50 percent) of the workers in the classification who received at least some fringe benefits on similar projects in the area during the relevant period. If the same fringe benefit rate is not paid to a majority of such workers, then the prevailing rate is the weighted average fringe benefit rate. See 29 C.F.R. § 1.2(a)(1).