COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In yet another attack on Ohio's construction trades workforce, both union and non-union, State Representatives John Becker and Craig Reidel are seeking the repeal of Ohio's prevailing wage law through introduction of HJR 9.
New research from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute found that Indiana's 2015 repeal of prevailing wage law has failed to produce any taxpayer savings on school construction projects and has had a negative effect on wages, job growth, productivity, and other economic and industry indicators.
Read the Study, The Effects of Repealing Common Construction Wage in Indiana, Here.
Overall, the study highlights ten specific impacts of repealing Indiana's prevailing wage law.
Wages: 8.5% drop in wages for blue-collar construction workers.
Income Inequality: 15.1% drop in wages for the lowest-paid construction workers.
Skills: 4.5% increase in construction workers without a high school diploma or equivalent.
Veterans: 1.2% drop in employment of military veterans in the construction sector.
Productivity: 5.3% slower than neighboring Midwestern states with prevailing wage laws.
Turnover: 1.2% more worker turnover in Indiana's heavy and highway construction sector.
Job Growth: 1.5% slower job growth in public works than neighboring Midwest states.
Bid Competition: No significant effect.
Union Share: No significant effect on union share of the public construction market.
Costs: No statistical impact on the average cost per public school project in northern Indiana.
Matthew Szollosi, Executive Director of Affiliated Construction Trades (ACT) Ohio, is unsurprised by the research results. "The new numbers out of Indiana support the findings of the 2017 study conducted in Ohio by researchers from Bowling Green State University, Kent State University, and Colorado State University," he said.
"Both studies reveal that repeal of prevailing wage would result in lower wages for skilled construction craftsmen and women. The lower wages and loss of healthcare coverage for those middle class workers would force many onto public assistance," said Szollosi. "These two studies should help Representatives Becker and Riedel separate rhetoric from reality on the issue of prevailing wage."
In addition to lower wages, sluggish job growth and no project savings, prior peer-reviewed studies have also shown a host of additional impacts that come with weakening or repealing prevailing wage laws: including less local hiring, higher poverty, and lower economic output.