Prevailing Wage Rates on Construction-Related Public Works Projects
The New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.25 et seq.) establishes a prevailing wage level for workers engaged in public works in order to safeguard the worker’s efficiency and general well-being, and to protect them as well as their employers from the effects of serious and unfair competition resulting from wage levels that are detrimental to the efficiency and well-being of all concerned.
The Act requires the payment of minimum rates of pay to laborers, craftsmen, and apprentices employed on public works projects. Covered workers must receive the appropriate craft prevailing wage rate as determined by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.
Prevailing wage rates are wage rates based on the collective bargaining agreements established for a particular craft or trade in the locality in which the public work is performed. In New Jersey, these rates vary by county and by the type of work performed.
Public works projects subject to the Act are those funded in whole or in part with the funds of a public body. Contracts awarded directly by municipal government must be valued at $16,263 or more to be covered by the Act. For all other public entities, including municipal utility authorities and boards of education, the threshold is $2,000.
Anyone interested in bidding on or engaging in any contract (or part thereof) for public work which is subject to the provisions of the Prevailing Wage Act must register with the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance as required by the Public Works Contractor Registration Act (PWCRA) P.L. 1999, c.238-N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.48 et seq., which establishes a unified procedure for the registration of contractors and subcontractors engaged in public works building projects. The PWCRA requires an annual registration fee of $300. After successful completion of two consecutive years of registration, a contractor may elect to register for a two-year period and pay a registration fee of $500.
Upon registration, the contractor and/or subcontractor will be issued a certificate indicating compliance with the requirements of the Act. Public bodies are expected to require proof of registration of all contractors bidding on the project and all subcontractors identified in such bids.
Public work means any construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration or repair work, or maintenance work, including painting and decorating, done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of the funds of the public body, except work performed under a rehabilitation program. Public work also means construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, or repair work done on any property or premises, whether or not the work is paid from public funds, if at the time of entering into the contract:
- Not less than 55% of the property or premises is leased by a public body, or is subject to an agreement to be subsequently leased by the public body; and
- The portion of the property or premises that is leased or subject to an agreement to be subsequently leased by the public body measures more than 20,000 square feet.
The Division of Wage and Hour Compliance Public Contracts Section regulates the payment of prevailing wage rates on public work projects through:
- The distribution of a prevailing wage rate determination for each trade, craft and classification;
- The routine site inspections of public construction projects;
- The implementation of fines and penalties to offenders; and
- The debarment from bidding and working on public works projects for three years for those contractors determined to be serious offenders.
The Act and regulations requires every contractor or sub-contractor performing public work for a public body to maintain the following records:
- The name, address, social security number, craft or trade of each worker, and;
- The actual hourly rate of pay, actual daily, overtime and weekly hours worked in each craft or trade, gross pay, itemized deductions, and net pay paid to the employee; such record shall also include:
- Any fringe benefits paid to approved plans, funds or programs on behalf of the employee; and
- Fringe benefits paid in cash to the employee.
These records must be preserved for a two-year period from the date of payment and shall be open at all reasonable hours to the public body awarding the contract, to any other party to the lease or agreement to lease pursuant to which the public work is done and to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.
The Prevailing Wage Rate Determinations list wage and fringe benefit rates based on collective bargaining agreements established for a particular craft or trade on the locality in which the public work is performed. In New Jersey, rates vary by county and statewide and by the type of work performed.
Applicable prevailing wage rates are those wages and fringe benefits in effect on the date the contract is awarded. All pre-determined rate increases listed at the time the contract is awarded must also be paid, beginning on the dates specified.
All contractors and subcontractors performing public work for a public body shall post the prevailing wage rates for each craft and classification, including the effective date of any changes to the rate, in a prominent and easily accessible place at the site of the work or at such places that are used by employers to pay workers their wages.
Current Prevailing Wage Rates are provided for Informational Purposes Only. Official Prevailing Wage Determinations are issued by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Wage and Hour Compliance, Public Contracts Section, for specific projects by request of the contracting Public Entity. To acquire official prevailing wage rates for a specific project, you must contact the contracting public entity.
Please note: All rates designated as expired “remain in effect” until new rates are posted.
After following the link below, click on the county in which the jobsite is located to access the rates for building trades. Click on “Statewide Rates” to access rates for Operators and Heavy & General Laborers (the statewide rates are also listed at the end of each county’s rates).
To view the current prevailing wage rates, click here.
By following the links below, public body officials or their representatives can apply for and download an official New Jersey Prevailing Wage Rate Determination. Official Prevailing Wage Rate Determinations are required for public work contracts and certain Economic Development Authority assisted projects.
Applicable rates are those wages and fringe benefit rates in effect on the date the contract is awarded. All predetermined rate increases listed at the time of the contract award must also be paid, beginning on the dates specified.
Please note that a separate wage rate determination must be ascertained for each separate public works contract entered into by the public body.
To complete the application form: you must fill in all fields that are highlighted in red. You will not be able to complete the application until all of the required fields are completed. You will be prompted to fill in any required information that is missing.
After you successfully enter all of the application information and "submit" the application, a confirmation page will appear. Please write down the confirmation number or print the confirmation number and retain it for your records. Your confirmation number is proof that you filed for and received the official Prevailing Wage Rate Determination.
After you write or print the confirmation number, you may "read" the Official Wage Determination that you requested, which can be opened with the Acrobat Reader. Once you view the Wage Determination, you may save it to your local disk drive or print it on a local printer. We recommend that you save the document and print it.
If you leave the application for any reason before completing and submitting it, all of your information will be erased. You will need to start a new session if you want to continue.
For NJ-EDA and NJ-UDC Wage Determination Requests: only approved applicants may file and obtain an official wage determination. Contractors/Subcontractors obtaining wage determinations on behalf of EDA and UDC projects will not be recognized by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development as being in possession of an official wage determination issued by the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance.
Software Requirements: in order to file your Prevailing Wage Rate Determination application electronically:
- You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Acrobat Reader please, click here.
Special Security Notice: All reasonable precautions are being taken to keep the information you provide in this application private and secure. However, no Internet security can be guaranteed 100%. Therefore, you are advised that any information that you provide over the Internet to complete this application may be subject to "hacking" or other misuse.
This online application uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Data submitted using this application is encrypted. You should be aware that using a shared computer may enable others to view your personal information.
Complete an application:
Click here to view current and archived wage rates. These rates are provided for informational purposes only. Please enter your search criteria and then click on a county to access the rates for building trades, or click on “Statewide Rates” to access rates for Operators and Heavy & General Laborers (the statewide rates are also listed at the end of each county’s rates).
If you have a question about the Prevailing Wage Rates, please contact the Public Contracts section in the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance at (609) 292-2259 or email@example.com.
Payroll Certification for Public Works Projects Form (for Contractor and Sub-Contractor's Use for Weekly and Final Certification): Effective February 18, 1992, Regulation N.J.A.C. 12:60-2.1 and 6.1 of the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act, N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.25 et. seq. requires that certified payroll records must be submitted to the public body, by all contractors and subcontractors, for each employee on the project within ten (10) days of the payment of wages. The public body shall receive, file, and make available for inspection during normal business hours the certified payroll records.
If you have any additional questions, you may contact the section at (609) 292-2259 or 292-2283 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also mail questions to the following address:
NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Division of Wage & Hour Compliance
Public Contracts Section
P.O. Box 389
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0389