Prevailing Wage

The Ohio AFL-CIO along with ACT Ohio work to defend and protect the State of Ohio’s Prevailing Wage Law, which is key to protecting Ohio’s construction workers and their wages and benefits – while also protecting the state’s citizens by allowing for the sustainability of a construction workforce that delivers quality projects on-time and on-budget and supports local economies.

Prevailing Wage Laws require construction contractors who work on public projects to pay construction workers at least the prevailing wages and benefits in the area in which they are working. The Prevailing Wages are the actual hourly wages, benefits and overtime to be paid to workers, calculated by the U.S. and Ohio Departments of Labor for construction trades.

Ohio has had a Prevailing Wage Law in place since 1931 to protect its construction trades workers.

Research has consistently shown that Prevailing Wage Laws do not result in significant cost variations on construction projects and, in fact, can produce cost savings as the result of better investment in the workforce and the resulting higher-quality and on-time construction.

In 2017, researchers from Bowling Green State University, Kent State University, and Colorado State University studied the effect of Prevailing Wage laws in several states and determined that any weakening of Ohio’s Prevailing Wage law would not result in any significant savings to taxpayers.


The study found that, nationally, labor accounts for only 23% of a project’s cost. Cutting worker’s wages would have little to no effect on the project’s total cost. Research also shows that the overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed research found no evidence that weakening Prevailing Wage laws decreases construction costs.

Click here to download the Executive Summary for this study. For a copy of the full, printed study, contact Chris Zimmer at 614-228-5446.

Click Here To View Prevailing Wage Rates.