labor

Indiana’s common construction wage is about to become extinct after Governor Mike Pence signed a bill repealing the wage Wednesday.

The common construction wage is a kind of minimum wage for construction workers on public projects.  The wage is set for each project by a local board. 

In a statement announcing he signed the bill repealing the common wage, Governor Pence says wages should be set by the marketplace, not government bureaucracy.  He says repealing the system puts taxpayers first. 

Courtesy / Indiana House Republicans

The Senate Wednesday narrowly approved a bill eliminating the state’s common construction wage.  Legislators spent more than three hours over the past two days debating the issue of repealing Indiana’s minimum wage for construction workers on public projects.

Opponents of the bill like Portage Democrat Karen Tallian note that the common wage helps support job training programs and ensures public projects are properly built by well-trained, highly paid workers.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Thousands of construction workers gathered at the Statehouse Monday to loudly protest a bill eliminating the state’s common construction wage. It’s the latest in a battle over the future of the minimum wage in public projects.

More than 2,000 predominantly union workers and contractors filled the south lawn of the Statehouse, listening to industry leaders and lawmakers oppose a bill repealing the common wage law.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana’s new Regional Works Councils have a deadline fast approaching – but only one of the 11 councils has met.

Indiana’s unemployment rate went up once again in February, though the state’s private sector marked the 20th consecutive month of job growth.

Indiana’s private sector added 5,800 jobs last month.  And since July of 2009, the low point of the recession, the state has created jobs in all but four months.  But at 8.7% in February, Indiana’s unemployment rate is at its highest level in more than a year.

The fears of opponents of Indiana’s Right to Work law appear to be bolstered by statistics showing a significant decrease in the state’s union membership since 2011.  But leaders on both sides of the debate say Right to Work likely had little effect.

Union membership in Indiana dropped about 20% from 2011 to 2012, just as Indiana’s Right to Work law, which prohibits union contracts that require workers to pay dues for representation, went into effect. 

Hoosier jobless rate rises in July

Aug 17, 2012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Indiana’s unemployment rate increased for the second straight month in July even though the state’s private sector added jobs for the ninth consecutive month. But state officials say those numbers don’t add up.

Thirty-three hundred private sector jobs were created last month and government hiring surged, leading to an increase in total non-farm employment of more than ten thousand jobs.  But Indiana’s unemployment rate increased to 8.2%.