For the second time in 10 years, the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) has produced a thorough study of prevailing wage entitled: “The Economic Impact of Repealing Missouri’s Prevailing Wage Law.” The study examined more than 150,000 construction projects in 12 Midwestern states, including Missouri, from 2003 to 2010. In comparing prevailing wage and non-prevailing wage states, it concluded:

Prevailing wage supports a highly skilled and safe workforce that delivers construction projects more cost efficiently while supporting the overall economic health of Missouri, its citizens and businesses.

Among the UMKC findings:
• Prevailing wage states delivered projects $9.74 a square foot cheaper.
• A repeal of prevailing wage would reduce middle class wages, severely impacting consumer spending and contributing to as much as $488.2 million in lost annual economic benefits in Missouri.
• Repeal would drastically reduce or eliminate health and retirement benefits, creating more dependence on taxpayer-funded state welfare.
• Repeal would flood the state with unskilled/unsafe construction workers, significantly increasing overall construction costs and risk management issues while exporting wages out of the state.

The findings reinforce UMKC’s first benchmark study on prevailing wage issued in 2004. Also included in this latest study is an examination of Right to Work (RTW) laws. It finds no economic benefits to RTW, but does find a host of detrimental effects to the overall economic health of the state.

Like its predecessor, the latest UMKC study is produced by the Council for Promoting American Business