A study conducted by the Minnesota Taxpayers Association (MTA) found the state's method for calculating prevailing wage rates on public construction increased project costs between 7 percent and 10 percent. Minnesota and California use a “modal” calculation, in which the rate that is most frequently reported in a survey is designated as the “prevailing” wage.

According to the study, Minnesota's modal method of calculating the prevailing wage rate increases the likelihood that large-scale, collectively bargained wage rates become the prevailing wage, because these rates tend to be uniform within a specific job class. The study found that in 26 of the 32 counties where state building projects were located, federal prevailing wage rates were set entirely from union rates.

Read the report: Prevailing Wage Rates in Minnesota