The US Department of Labor has revealed its plan to update the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) that affect “contractors and subcontractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts,” according to the agency. The effect could increase wage rates for such projects by reinstituting an older “prevailing wage” definition and by incorporation of an “operation of law” standard. Commercial construction is already under pressure from supply chain constraints and scarcity of labor.

“There are 71 DBRA laws applicable to federal and federally assisted construction projects that require the payment of locally prevailing wage rates for 1.2 million U.S. construction workers,” the Labor Department noted. “The requirements currently cover approximately $217 billion in federal spending on construction each year.”

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