The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, April 19, 2019

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

IBEW survey finds few fans of low bids

A new Denno Research survey commissioned by the IBEW Locals 252 and 665 and their National Electrical Contractors Association partners found mid-Michigan residents are not fans of the low bidder.

The survey, whose results were released April 2, asked residents in Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Livingston and Washtenaw counties questions related to the electrical construction industry and specifically, about prevailing wage laws.

The survey found that 86.3 percent of residents "do not want local school and government officials to automatically choose the cheapest bidder for electrical construction projects, instead, they should consider factors such as the amount of safety training electricians have completed" according to the release. 

"Following PA 105 of 2015 and the repeal of Michigan's prevailing wage law, many local officials may mistakenly believe they are obligated to choose the cheapest qualified electrical contractor for construction jobs. They are not," said labor attorney Jon Canzano. "Local officials are perfectly within their rights to set certain responsibility criteria to help guide their decisions."

State's 2018 median wage ranked 24th nationally

Michigan’s median wage measured $18.08 per hour in 2018, according to data released April 4 by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The state’s median wage ranked 24th nationally, unchanged from 2017, and remained below the national median ($18.58). Occupational employment in Michigan reached 4,317,800 in 2018 and ranked 10th nationally.

“These employment and wage estimates would not be possible without the help of the nearly 11,000 Michigan businesses that take the time to participate in the survey each year,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic initiatives. “Thanks to our business partners, we have employment and wage data for nearly 800 detailed job titles, providing vital information to all Michigan residents.”       

Among the 22 major occupational groups, management occupations had the highest median wage at $48.90, more than two-and-one-half times the statewide median wage. Architecture and engineering occupations was the second highest paying major group with a median wage of $38.88. This major group had more employment concentration in Michigan than in any other state, led by mechanical engineers and industrial engineers. The lowest paying major group was food preparation and serving related occupations at $10.09, which remained the fourth largest group by employment in Michigan with 392,990 jobs. 

Office and administrative support occupations was the largest major group in Michigan with 612,950 jobs. The second largest major group was Production occupations with 472,680 jobs, representing nearly 11 percent of statewide employment. Michigan ranked fourth among all states in employment concentration in production occupations, reflecting the continued importance of these jobs in our labor market.

The Ann Arbor area had the highest median wage among all Michigan regions at $19.90, overtaking the Detroit MSA ($19.52) which held the spot in 2017. The Bay City area ($15.49) had the lowest median wage while the Northeast Lower Peninsula ($14.56) was the lowest among non-metropolitan areas. Of the 18 areas in Michigan, six reported wages above the statewide median and 12 had wages below the median.