The Real Deal New York

NYC construction workers on public projects earn nearly twice as much as their private counterparts: report

New data show salaries can differ by hundreds of thousands

June 05, 2015 08:00AM

Construction wages (credit: NY YIMBY)

Construction wages (credit: NY YIMBY)

Wages for construction workers are a hot topic in the city today, with the issue being tied to 421a renewal and what private developers choose to pay construction workers. But a new report is turning attention to how the government pays the vast number of construction workers that it employs — and the data show that these workers are much better off, making up to 177% of what their privately employed counterparts do, in some cases.

The salary difference is largest for insulators, who make an average of $68,996 when they are employed privately, but make $190,223 if they are employed by contractors working on public projects, New York YIMBY reported.

Other professions have similarly stark contrasts — structural iron workers take home an average of $235,248 on government projects, compared to $111,920 for private projects. For steamfitters, the difference is $221,603 compared to $98,328.

Debate has been swirling in Albany over whether to include a prevailing wage requirement for construction workers in a 421a reform package, with Governor Andrew Cuomo supporting the measure and Mayor Bill de Blasio against it. [NY YIMBY] — Tess Hofmann