The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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Statistical Analysis, Data Analysis, and Special Studies

The Construction Industry Research and Policy Center (CIRPC) provides services to the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (DOL WHD). While the majority of the services support Davis-Bacon wage determination activities, services provided under this contract also support other labor standards compliance activities such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migratory Seasonal Protection Act (MSPA).

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) requires that the Department of Labor determine how well it is meeting its goals. The process requires the statement of clear and measurable goals, establishment of baselines (benchmarks) to determine present conditions relative to stated goals, actions to meet the goals, and determination of the impacts of those actions. The comparison of conditions after intervention with the baseline provides a measure of the impact of the interventions and how closely the current conditions meet the goals. CIRPC assists WHD in meeting GPRA goals by providing WHD sampling design, selection, statistical analysis, and report preparation for compliance surveys. Similar analyses and reports, for example, are provided for one type of 'special studies' known as the Employer (or Employee) Satisfaction Survey, which periodically examines how the public involved perceives the conduct and effectiveness of WHD's compliance processes.

CIRPC also keeps track of wage rates for union and non-union job categories for the Department of Labor. As another example of special studies, before legislation changed the process for minimum wage determination for the U.S. territory of American Samoa, CIRPC provided analysis from 2000 to 2006 of the islands' economic data and authored an Economic Report: The Minimum Wage in American Samoa. On two occasions CIRPC sent a team of surveyors to the South Pacific to collect the data used in the report.

In support of its other activities, each month CIRPC receives an electronic file from McGraw-Hill Construction (Dodge Data & Analytics) containing approximately 25,000 new construction initiations. Econometric models are used to calculate the estimated construction duration of each project. The calendar period in which each project is estimated to be under construction is appended to each record, and a master project file is maintained that contains active projects detailed by month for each county in the nation.

The master project file has provided the base information supporting Davis-Bacon Wage Surveys, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) selection system, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Construction Targeting System. Special statistical reports using data from the master project file and other sources have been compiled and provided to WHD and OSHA.

Construction Industry Research & Policy Center ~ 202 Stokely Management Center ~ 916 Volunteer Boulevard ~ Knoxville, TN 37996-0520
Phone: 865-974-4422 ~ Fax: 865-545-4193 ~ E-Mail:

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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System