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Construction Industry Wage Survey
Wage and Hour: Prevailing Wage
 
Oregon law requires the Bureau of Labor and Industries to determine wage rates for work performed in specified Oregon trades and occupations in the non-residential construction industries. To gather this information BOLI and the Oregon Employment Department conduct a survey of construction contractors. Your business may receive a postcard requesting information about whether you employ people in the non-residential construction trades. Whether you do or not, please fill out the card and return it to the printed address. This will help the Bureau of Labor and Industries identify employers to survey in determining prevailing wage rates for public works projects involving construction.
 
If you ARE an employer of non-residential construction trades, after returning the card you will receive a survey in which you will be asked the current wages you are paying for specific trades. Oregon law requires you to provide the information requested in the survey. This information is confidential and will not be published in a manner that could identify your firm. The survey will ask you to identify the following:
  • Geographic locations where work has been performed.
  • Types of construction workers you have employed, broken out by occupations, skill levels, and hours worked during the survey period.
  • Wages and fringe benefits paid to workers.
 
BOLI uses the information gathered from employers to determine the prevailing wage rates for workers in the non-residential construction trades. Oregon law (ORS 279C.800 and ORS 279C.815) requires the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries to determine wage rates for work performed in Oregon in specified trades and occupations in the non-residential construction industry.
 
Employers receiving the postcard are selected from Oregon Employment Department records. Criteria for selection is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code of the business. All businesses with a construction industry NAICS code are selected, as are businesses in related wholesale trades.  
 

All responses will be kept strictly confidential.
 
Prior to 1995, the Bureau did not have the resources to conduct independent wage surveys. The published prevailing wage rates were based on U.S. Department of Labor determinations.
 
In 1995, the Legislature established a fee for all state public works projects. This fee pays for the wage surveys as well as for education and enforcement of the state´s prevailing wage rate laws. The Oregon Employment Department, directed by the Bureau of Labor and Industries, conducted the first survey in 1996. In 1997, the Legislature specified that the survey should be conducted annually, and that, in making the rate determinations, the Commissioner is to rely on this survey. If the Commissioner determines that there´s insufficient data for a region or a trade or occupation, the law directs the Commissioner to consider additional information such as collective bargaining agreements, other independent wage surveys, and the prevailing wage rates determined by appropriate federal agencies or agencies of adjoining states.
 
Once the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries determines the prevailing wage rate, public works contractors are required to pay no less than the prevailing wage rate to workers employed on covered projects. Prevailing wage rates are defined in the law as the rate of hourly wage, including all fringe benefits, paid in the locality to the majority of workers employed on projects of similar character in the same trade or occupation. If it is determined that there is not a majority in the same trade or occupation paid at the same rate, the average hourly wage--including fringe benefits paid in the locality to workers in the same trade or occupation--is the "prevailing wage."