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The Impact of Prevailing Wage Laws on Military Veterans: An Economic and Labor Market Analysis

May 2016

Frank Manzo IV, Robert Bruno, Kevin Duncan


The authors assess the labor market impact of prevailing wage laws on military veterans. Veterans hold a disproportionately larger share of construction industry jobs in comparison to the overall workforce, and are consequently some of the most closely impacted by changes in prevailing wage laws. The authors estimate that weakening or repealing prevailing wage laws would have a significantly detrimental effect on military veterans in the construction industry; economic impacts include decreases in income, health coverage, veteran-owned construction businesses and overall employment of veterans in construction-related jobs.

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Policy Implications

The article provides an assessment of how the repeal or weakening of prevailing wage laws could impact a specific sub-group of the workforce population. Results indicate that such policy change would potentially work against the goals policymakers often focus on: maintaining and increasing employment, particularly among veteran populations.

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