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«c «? *o? /
Labor and Material
Requirements for Sewer
Works Construction
U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
1979
Bulletin 2003

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
United States. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Labor and material requirements for sewer works
construction.
(Bulletin - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ; 2003)
Bibliography: p.
Supt. of Docs. no. L 2.3:2003
1. Labor costs— United States. 2. Sewage disposal
plants— United States--Costs. 3* Wages--Construction
workers— United States. I. Title. II. Series: United
States. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bulletin ; 2003.
HDJ+966.B89U623
338. ^ *3
78 -21^80

Labor and Material
Requirements for Sewer
Works Construction
U.S. Department of Labor
Ray Marshall, Secretary
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Janet L. Norwood
Acting Commissioner'
January 1979

Bulletin 2003

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402
Stock Number 029-001-02263-8

<

Preface
This study of labor and material requirements for the construction of sewer facilities is
one in a series of studies conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of various types of
construction activity. The sample projects for this study were selected from among all
sewer works construction projects built in the 48 contiguous States between January 1,
1969, and August 31, 1973. All of the projects received Federal funds under programs
administered by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Housing and
Urban Development. Other published studies in this series cover highways, hospitals,
schools, private one-family houses, private multifamily housing, public housing, college
housing, Federal office buildings, and civil works.
This study is the second one conducted on sewer works construction; the first (presented
in BLS Bulletin 1490) covered projects completed during 1962-63. This study includes not
only the presentation and analysis of the current survey data but also an analysis of changes
in labor and materials usage since the initial survey. In addition, estimates of the employ­
ment impact of sewer works construction during calendar year 1976 are included.
The Bureau gratefully acknowledges the generous cooperation of the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD). Mr. Robert L. Michel of the Municipal Construction Division of EPA provided
invaluable assistance in the selection of the universe and sample projects from the EPA
data bank. The Bureau also wishes to thank the 3,000 general and special trade contractors
who provided data for the survey.
This study was prepared in the Bureau’s Office of Productivity and Technology by Joseph
T. Finn, assisted by Maurice G. Wright, under the supervision of Robert Ball in the Division
of Technological Studies, John J. Macut, Chief.
A summary of the results of this study was published in the November 1976 issue of the
Monthly Labor Review (“ Labor and materials requirements for sewer works construction,”
by Robert Ball and Joseph T. Finn, pp. 38-41).
Material in this publication is in the public domain and may be reproduced without
permission of the Federal Government. Please credit the Bureau of Labor Statistics and cite
Labor and Material Requirements for Sewer Works Construction, Bulletin 2003.

iii

Contents
Page

Chapters:
I. Introduction ................................................................................................................................................
Scope of survey ...............................................................................................
Survey methods .................................................................................................................................
Nature of the industry ......................................................................................................................

1
1
1
1

II. Highlights of the study ...............................................................................................................................
General findings .................................................................................................................................
Employment estimates ......................................................................................................................
Requirements by occupation ............................................................................................................
Distribution of costs .........................................................................................................................
Regional differences .........................................................................................................................

3
3
3
4
5
6

III.

Labor requirements and characteristics .................................................................................................
Onsite ..................................................................................................................................................
Labor requirements by region ..................................................................................................
Labor requirements by occupation .........................................................................................
Apprentice onsite employee-hours ..........................................................................................
Offsite .................................................................................................................................................
Builders’ offsite employee-hours ..............................................................................................
Manufacturing ............................................................................................................................
Wholesale trade, transportation,and services ..........................................................................
Mining and other industries .....................................................................................................

8
8
8
8
9
9
9
9
11
11

IV.

Distribution of costs and wages ...............................................................................................................
Distribution of construction contractcosts .....................................................................................
Wages as a percent of contract costs ..............................................................................................
Materials, equipment, and supplies .................................................................................................

12
12
13
13

V. Comparison with previous surveys ..........................................................................................................
Comparison of cost components, all sewer works construction studies .....................................
Comparison of all construction labor requirements studies .........................................................

19
19
19

Tables:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Employee-hours per $1,000 of contest cost for sewer works construction, by industry,
1963 and 1971 ...................................................................................................................................... 4
Percent distribution and average annual rate of change of employee-hour requirements per $1,000
of contract cost for sewer works construction, by industry, 1963 and 1971 (1963 dollars) ....... 5
Onsite employee-hours per $1,000 of contract cost for sewer works construction, by occupation,
1963 and 1971 ...................................................................................................................................... 6
Range of onsite employee-hours per $1,000 of contract cost for sewer works construction, 1971
6
Operating engineers onsite employee-hours and percent distribution per $1,000 of contract cost,
United States and regions, 1971 ......................................................................................................... 10
Apprentice employee-hours as a percent of skilled onsite employment for sewer works construction,
by occupation and major construction type, 1963 and 1971 ........................................................... 11
v

Contents— continued

Page

7.

Percent distribution of contract costs for sewer works construction, United States, 1963 and 1971,
and regions, 1971 ..................................................................................................................................
8. Percent distribution of contract costs for sewer works construction by percent of contract cost
expended for wages, United States, 1963 and 1971, and regions, 1971 ........................................
9. Materials, equipment, and supplies used in sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971 ...................
10. Percent distribution of materials, equipment, and supplies for sewer works construction, 1963 and
1971 ........................................................................................................................................................
11. Employee-hour requirements per 1,000 current dollars of contract cost, by industry, all construction
studies, 1958-73 ....................................................................................................................................
12. Percent distribution of onsite employee-hour requirements per 1,000 current dollars of contract
cost, by occupation, all construction studies, 1958-73 ....................................................................
13. Percent distribution of contract costs, all construction studies, 1958-73 ...........................................
14. Percent distribution of cost of materials, supplies, and equipment, by product group, all construction
studies, 1958-73 ....................................................................................................................................

12
13
14
16
20
21
22
23

Charts:
1. Employee-hours per $1,000 of contract cost for sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971 ............ 5
2. Percent distribution of contract costs for sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971 ......................... 7
3. Employee-hours per $ 1,000 of contract cost for sewer line and plant construction, 1963 and 1971 ... 11
4. Percent distribution of contract costs for sewer line and plant construction, 1963 and 1971 ........... 12
Appendixes:
A. Survey scope and methods ......................................................................................................................... 24
B. Forms used for data collection .................................................................................................................. 27
C. Bibliography ................................................................................................................................................ 54

vi

Chapter I.

Introduction

The BLS program of construction labor require­
ments studies was started in 1959 when Congress rec­
ognized the need for information on the possible em­
ploym ent-generating effects of various types of
construction. Since then, the Bureau has conducted a
series of studies presenting data on the total amount of
employment and employee-hours, both onsite and off­
site, per $ 1,000 of construction expenditures and, for
some studies, per 100 square feet of space.
These studies provide occupational data which are
important in planning for training requirements as well
as in determining skill shortages or bottlenecks for
various types of construction. Resurveys of a given type
of construction over time can contribute information
about changes in costs and productivity for onsite con­
struction labor. Market research analysts and compa­
nies manufacturing equipment and supplies are inter­
ested especially in lists of m aterials used for
construction.
Sewer works construction is a major component of
construction and a prime source of employment. Jobs
are created not only at the construction site but also in
many manufacturing, trade, transportation, mining,
and other industries which furnish the materials and
services for construction.
The study shows for sewer lines and treatment plants
(1) the amount of labor required to complete an aver­
age installation; (2) detailed characteristics by contrac­
tor and occupation; (3) ratios per $ 1,000 of construc­
tion contract cost; (4) materials used by type; (5)
distribution of costs; and (6) total labor requirements
generated by the manufacture, sale, and delivery of
these materials.
The multiplier effect of jobs created by the respend­
ing of wages and salaries of workers and profits of
contractors is not included in the present study, nor are
the accelerator effects of capital expenditures.

uous States during calendar year 1969 and completed
by August 31, 1973. The survey covers an extended
period because of the long-term nature of sewer con­
struction. In general, the data refer primarily to con­
struction during 1971.
A sampling frame of over 1,500 units was developed
from lists of 907 projects supplied by the Environmen­
tal Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The EPA list
consisted of 874 projects. The HUD list consisted of 33
projects. These lists were stratified by (a) the four
broad economic regions, (b) type of construction:
Sewer lines, treatment plants, pumping stations, etc.,
(c) location: Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas
(SMSA) or nonmetropolitan areas, and (d) construc­
tion contract cost class.

Labor requirements for onsite construction were ta­
bulated from payroll data supplied by contractors and
HUD and HEW regional offices. Labor requirements
other than for onsite construction were developed by
translating the requirements for materials, equipment,
and supplies produced in the various industries of the
economy into the labor expended to mine, process,
transport, and distribute them. Estimates were derived
by first classifying and aggregating material values by
type and then deflating by an appropriate wholesale
price index to match the base year of the 1963 interin­
dustry study of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, De­
partment of Commerce. These deflated values were
grouped in the appropriate industry sectors in inputoutput tables to generate estimates of final demand.
Sector productivity factors then were applied to derive
employee-hours by industry group. Further details on
survey methods are given in appendix A.

Scope of survey

Nature of the industry

The current survey was designed to measure the
number of employee-hours and the value of materials,
supplies, and equipment required for each $1,000 of
sewer works construction. Survey sample projects were
selected from a universe of federally supported sewer
works construction projects started in the 48 contig­

The basic function of a wastewater treatment plant
has been to speed up the process of purifying water.
Generally, this function is divided into three levels of
treatment (primary, secondary, and advanced) requir­
ing different facilities to be constructed with different
materials, built-in equipment, and labor requirements.

Survey methods

1

dollars was $1.4 billion for 1971 compared with $2.2
billion in 1976.3
An additional indication of the economic impact of
sewer works construction on the local economies can
be inferred from the following data on the funding level
of the EPA grant program for the construction of sewer
works by State and local authorities, authorized by the
Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Public Law
92-500). The figures reported by EPA as of February
28, 1978, show 11,587 active projects: 6,369 in Step 1
(planning) with grants of $518 million, 1,568 in Step 2
(engineering) at $376 million, and 3,650 in Step 3
(construction) at $16 billion. There were 3,731 proj­
ects completed under PL 92-500 (75-percent grant
money), including 787 construction projects that took
Federal grants of $811 million.4
According to a survey of 66 major sanitary districts
in the United States which was reported in Engineering
News-Record, these districts planned to spend $1.9
billion in fiscal year 1978, 73 percent more than they
spent in fiscal year 1977. Almost 46 percent of the
proposed expenditure was to be for new, upgraded or
expanded treatment plants. When the survey was con­
ducted, Congress had not passed the proposed amend­
ments to the 1972 Water Pollution Control Act. There­
fo re, many sanitary districts were being very
conservative when planning for fiscal 1979, and re­
ported plans for $1.1 billion during 1979.5During De­
cember 1977, the Congress approved a 5-year spending
authority amounting to $24.5 billion for the grant pro­
gram for municipal sewage treatment plants.6

In primary treatment, large objects are screened out
and remaining solids are allowed to settle from the
water in tanks or ponds. In secondary treatment, wastewater is purified by aiding natural biological processes
in the breakdown of organic material. Advanced treat­
ment is a relatively new process which goes beyond the
objectives of the first two forms of treatment.
Wastewater treatment in the past was aimed at clean­
ing up domestic and simple industrial wastes. Water
pollution was then primarily a local matter, but this is
no longer the case. Population and industrial growth
coupled with the large-scale use of such products as
chemical fertilizers, synthetic and organic pesticides,
inorganic chemicals from mining, manufacturing, and
agricultural sources, and other pollutants have required
that wastewater in some areas be subjected to further
treatment to remove or dilute these materials. Such
processing is referred to as advanced wastewater treat­
ment (AWT). Advanced wastewater treatment plants
are more efficient than other types of plants and re­
quire more advanced equipment.1
The value-put-in-place (VPIP) for publicly con­
structed sewer systems during 1971 was $1.8 billion;
the comparable figure for 1976 was $5.3 billion.2 The
large increase in VPIP from 1971 to 1976 reflects, to a
great extent, the impact of inflation. Therefore, a com­
parison of the VPIP for these two periods should be
made on a constant-dollar basis. The VPIP in 1967
1Advanced wastewater treatment ranges from extensions of bio­
logical treatment for removal of nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients to
physical-chemical separation techniques such as coagulation, adsorp­
tion, distillation, and reverse osmosis. For a detailed explanation of
sewer system facilities, refer to “A Primer on Wastewater Treat­
ment” by the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, U.S.
Department of the Interior, the forerunner of the current Environ­
mental Protection Agency.
2See table 1 of Report C30-74S and table 2 of Report C 30-77-10,
Bureau of the Census.

3See table 2 of Report C30-74S and table 3 of Report C 30-77-4,
Bureau of the Census.
4 Activities of the Grants Assistance Programs, February 1978 (U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency), pp. 17-19.
5 Engineering News-Record, Oct. 6, 1977, p. 40.
6Engineering News-Record, Dec. 22, 1977, p. 39.

2

Chapter II.

Highlights of the Study

General findings

The employee-hours per $1,000 of contract costs
varied very little between lines and plants, as shown in
table 1. For example, in 1963 dollars, $1,000 in 1971
generated 180 employee-hours for lines and 183 for
plants, all industries included. The totals for the con­
struction sector were 72 hours for lines and 75 hours
for plants. The total for other industries, however, was
108 for both lines and plants.

Sewer works construction required 124 employeehours for each $ 1,000 expended on construction con­
tracts in 1971. (See table 1.) Fifty-one of these hours
were expended in the construction sector directly, 48
of them at the site and 3 in offsite construction.* This
7
*
compares with 204 employee-hours total, 90 construc­
tion (85 onsite and 5 offsite) for a similar study con­
ducted in 1963.8 (See chart 1.)
In addition to the direct hours, 73 employee-hours
were created in industries which produce, transport,
and sell the materials, equipment, and supplies used in
sewer works construction. For 1963, 114 hours were
created in the supporting industries. (Employee-hours
by type of industry are shown in table 1.)
When adjusted for inflation (by applying the EPA’s
cost indexes for sewer systems),9 the resulting em­
ployee-hours per $1,000 spent in 1971 totaled 183.
The construction sector generated 75 hours, 71 onsite
and 4 offsite, and the supporting industries generated
108. The average annual rate of decline of onsite hours
per $1,000 in constant dollars was 2.2 percent. (See
table 2.) While this is not a pure measure of onsite
labor productivity, the decline does point to some im­
provement in productivity between the two survey pe­
riods.

Employment estimates

The $1.8 billion spent on sewer works construction
in 1971 generated 116,900 full-time jobs in construc­
tion and in other industries supplying materials and
equipment to the job site: 51,500 in construction and
65,400 in other industries. The employment distribu­
tion among the industry sectors was as follows:
Number of full­
time jobs in
1971
116,900

All industries

Construction .......................................
Onsite ..........................................
Offsite ...................

51,500
48,800
2,700

Other industries ...................................
Manufacturing ..............................

65,400
44,300

Wholesale trade, transportation, and

7 Not covered by the survey were construction inspection by
government employees and installations by public utility employees.
Excluded from other industry employee-hour requirements was labor
generated by money spent by builders or contractors for taxes (in­
cluding payroll taxes) and other overhead items such as real estate
commissions, rent, bonds, financing, utilities, business services, and
legal and professional services. These payments probably generate
little direct employment. Employment created by the respending of
wages and profits of the workers and their employers—the multiplier
effect—was also outside the scope of the study.
8See Roland V. Murray, “Labor and Material Requirements for
Sewer Works Construction,” Monthly Labor Review, March 1966,
pp. 288-90, and Labor and Materials Requirements for Sewer Works
Construction, Bulletin 1490 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1966).
’ The EPA’s price indexes for sewer lines and treatment plants
were used to compare the change in total employee-hours per $ 1,000
o f sewer works construction completed between 1963 and 1971
expressed in 1963 dollars. However, the change in the cost of the
materials used to construct projects was measured by comparison of
the wholesale price indexes for these construction materials, for the
years 1962 and 1970. The assumption was made that the materials
used to construct the survey projects were mostly purchased during
these years.

services ......................................
Mining and other ..........................

14,200
6,900

The number of full-time jobs generated by a given
amount of expenditures for sewer construction has
decreased in recent years because of inflation and imThe cost index used to express the employee-hours data for 1971
and 1976 in 1963 dollars is an unweighted average of the EPA price
indexes of lines and plants (1967 = 100). The index values and the
unweighted averages for the years 1963, 1971, and 1976 were:
Lines
1963 ...............
1971 ...............
1976 ...............

Plants

90.9
134.3
221.0

90.9
133.8
219.7

Unweighted
average
90.9
134.0
220.4

The productivity estimate used is the inverse of the change in
onsite employee-hours per $1,000, adjusted for price change, be­
tween 1963 and 1971. The average annual rate of change was 2.2
percent over the period.

3

Table 1.

Employee-hours per $1,000 of contract cost for sewer works construction, by industry, 1963 and 1971

_______________________________________________________________________________
Current dollars
Sewer
plants
203

1971
Sewer
plants
125

Sewer
plants
183

All industries ...........................................

204

124

Construction .......................................................
Onsite ...........................................................
Offsite ............................................................

90
85
5

91
86
5

88
83
5

51
48
3

49
48
1

51
47
4

75
71
4

72
71
1

75
69
6

Other industries ..................................................
Manufacturing .............................................
Wholesale trade, 1 transportation, and
services .................... ................................
Mining and o th e r........................................

114
78

113
76

115
80

73
50

74
49

74
52

108
74

108
72

108
76

23
13

23
14

23
12

15
8

16
9

15
7

22
12

23
13

22
10

Total

Total

Sewer
lines
180

Sewer
lines
123

Total

Sewer
lines
204

1963 dollars
1971

1963

Industry

183

1 1n the input-output tables used to generate the "other industries"
employment inpact, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), U.S. Depart­
ment of Commerce, classifies lumberyards in the retail trade sector. Thus,
by excluding the labor impact of retail trade in these figures, the employ­
ment-generating effects of materials sold to contractors by lumberyards
were not counted. As a result, these figures are slightly understated. If all
retail trade were included, about 4.0 employee-hours would be added to
the 1963 figures and 3.0 to the 1971 data in current dollars. However, it
cannot be determined what portion of these hours should be included.
Lumber and wood products are used extensively in residential construc­
tion, but the impact for sewer works construction is less significant. For
the 1972 input-output tables, BEA is planning to reclassify lumberyards

selling mainly to contractors from retail trade to wholesale trade. When
these data become available, future studies will be adjusted to reflect the
labor-generating effects of purchases by contractors from such lumber­
yards.

proved productivity. Estimates of the number of jobs
generated in 1971 and 1976 were based on employeeyears of 1,800 hours in onsite construction and 2,000
hours in offsite construction. By these estimates, the
$5.3 billion spent on sewer construction in 1976 gener­
ated 191,600 jobs—79,000 in construction and
112,600 in other industries.1 This is only about one
0
and one-half times the number of construction jobs
generated by the $1.8 billion spent in 1971.
BLS surveys also indicate that, in 1975, funds spent
on sewer plant construction created more jobs than the
same amount of funds spent on school and Federal
office building construction but fewer than those spent
on residential construction, although the demand for
workers in each occupation varies significantly with the
type of construction.
Estimates for 1976|i developed from the survey data,
indicate that each billion dollars spent on sewer plant
construction generated the equivalent of about 36,600
full-time jobs, compared with 36,500 (preliminary) for
funds spent on elementary and secondary schools and j

35,500 for Federal office buildings. In residential con­
struction in 1976, the equivalent of about 35,500 full­
time jobs were created for each billion dollars spent on
private single-family hpuses, 39,300 for private multi­
family housing, and 39,200 for public housing."

NOTE: Detail may not add to totals because of rounding. Data for 1963
are based on the 1963 input-output table inverse matrix and the data for
1971 are based on the 1970 tables with adjustments for productivity
between 1970 and 1971. Revised data for other industries are shown for
1963.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Requirements by occupation

Over 62 percent of sewer works onsite labor require­
ments in 1971 were accounted for by only three occu­
pational groups: Laborers, helpers, and tenders; oper­
ating engineers; and superintendents and blue-collar
supervisors. These occupations provided about 74 per­
cent of the onsite employee-hours used to construct
sewer lines and 47 percent for treatment plants.
In 1963, these three groups accounted for an even
larger share of all hours—over 66 percent for sewer
works (see table 3). In both time periods, i.e., 1963 and
1971, the percentages of total onsite employee-hours
credited to operating engineers and to laborers, help­
ers, and tenders were greater in lines than in plants.
The percentages of onsite employee-hours provided by
superintendents and blue-collar supervisors were about
the same for both lines and plants in both survey peri­
ods.

10More workers would be employed than indicated by the full­
time job estimates because of the seasonal nature of employment in
the construction industry. Furthermore, transients and part-time
workers tend to inflate actual employment figures. Because different
assumptions are used for the number of employee-hours in construc­
tion and in other industries, employee-hour ratios do not apply to
employee-year estimates. In other industries, in 1971, employee-year
estimates were 2,069 in manufacturing, 1,939 in wholesale trade,
transportation, and services, and 2,135 in mining and other. In 1976,
the figures were 2,053, 1,803, and 2,074, respectively. Retail trade is
excluded from these estimates because purchase transactions for
materials are assumed to be made at the wholesale level only. Some
retail transactions are made, but the extent of such purchases in
construction is not known.

1 See John G. Olsen, “Decline Noted in Hours Required to Erect
1
Federal Office Buildings," Monthly Labor Review, October 1976, pp.
18-22; Joseph T. Finn, “Labor Requirements for School Construc­
tion,” Monthly Labor Review, August 1968, pp. 40-43; Robert Ball,
“Labor and Material Requirements for Apartment Construction,”
Monthly Labor Review, January (975, pp. 70-73; Robert Ball and
Larry Ludwig, “ Labor Requirements for Construction of SingleFamily Houses,” Monthly Labor Review, September 1971, pp. 12-14;
and Joseph T. Finn, “Labor Requirements for Public Housing,”
Monthly Labor Review, April 1972, pp. 40-42.

4

Table 2. Percent distribution and average annual rate of change of employee-hour requirements per $1,000 of contract cost
for sewer works construction, by industry, 1963 and 1971
(1963 dollars)
1963

Industry

Average annual rate of change,
1963-71

1971

Total

Lines

Plants

Total

Lines

Plants

Total

Lines

Plants

All industries ...........................................

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

-1 .4

-

1.6

-1 .3

Construction .......................................................
Onsite ............................................................
Offsite ............................................................

44.1
41.7
2.5

44.6
42.2
2.5

43.3
40.9
2.5

41.0
38.8
2.2

40.0
39.4
.6

41.0
37.7
3.3

-2 .2
-2 .2
-2 .7

- 2.9
- 2.3
-1 8 .0

-2 .0
-2 .2
2.3

Other industries..................................................
Manufacturing .............................................
Wholesale trade, transportation, and
services .....................................................
Mining and o th e r ........................................

55.9
38.2

55.4
37.3

56.7
39.4

59.0
40.4

60.0
40.0

59.0
41.5

-

.7
.7

-

.6
.7

-

11.3
6.4

11.3
6.9

11.3
5.9

12.0
6.6

12.8
7.2

12.0
5.5

- .6
-1 .0

-

.0
.9

- .6
-2 .2

.8
.6

NOTE: Percents and rates of change calculated on rounded data. Detail
may not add to 100.0 percent because of rounding.

Distribution of costs

ment. Nearly 41 percent of costs in 1971 were ac­
counted for by these factors. However, this represents
a decline of about 6 percentage points since 1963. The
most important types of materials including contrac­
tors’ equipment were stone, clay, glass, and concrete
products; machinery except electrical; contractors’
equipment; primary metal products; and fabricated
metal products. Together, these five groups of products
made up 86 percent of the contract cost of all materi­
als, equipment, and supplies used for sewer works con­
struction in 1971. The same groups also accounted for

Onsite labor costs accounted for about 25 percent of
total contract construction costs in 1971. (See chart 2.)
This was virtually the same percentage as in 1963.
While onsite wages and salaries remained very stable as
a percent of costs, other factors of production changed
considerably in sewer works construction.
The survey indicates that the largest component of
contract construction costs was for materials, built-in
equipment, and supplies, excluding contractors’ equip­

Chart 1. Employee-hours per $1,000 of contract cost for sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971

Employee-hours

0

20

40

60

80

---------------------------- !------------------------- 1
-------- -------------------- 1
-------------------------- T

Construction

Manufacturing

Wholesale trade,
transportation,
and services

Mining and other

5

100

---- 1

ings were the lowest in the South ($3.97) and highest in
the Northeast ($6.35) but onsite wages and salaries as
a percent of total costs for these two regions were
nearly identical. The reason for this apparent produc­
tivity difference is that the relatively cheaper labor in
the South is utilised more extensively than the rela-

about 86 percent of contract costs in 1963.
While contractors’ capital equipment costs increased
slightly (about 1 1/2 percentage points), the overhead
and profit segment increased substantially, from 18
percent in 1963 to 23 percent in 1971. The overhead
and profit segment contains numerous cost elements
which were not collected separately, such as labor
payroll costs for office and warehouse employees, sup­
plemental wage benefits for onsite workers, cost of
construction financing, other overhead expenses, and
contractors’ profit.

Data from the study were provided for the continental United
States and four broad geographic regions: Northeast—Connecticut,
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont; North Central—Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,
North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; South—Ala­
bama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Okla­
homa, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Vir­
ginia; and West—Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana,
Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Regional differences

Differences in construction characteristics of sewer
works reflect regional conditions under which projects
are erected.1 For example, average onsite hourly earn­
2
Table 3.

Onsite employee-hours per $1,000 of contract cost for sewer works construction, by occupation, 1963 and 1971
1971

1963

To tal
O c c u p a tio n

All occupations.......

Lines

P lants

Lines

T o ta l

Plants

E m ployee
hours

P e rc en t
d istri­
bution

E m ployee
hours

P e rc en t
d istri­
bution

E m ployee
hours

P e rc en t
d istri­
b ution

Em ployee
hours

P e rc ent
distri­
bution

E m ployee
hours

P ercent
distri­
bution

E m ployee
hours

P ercent
distri­
bution

8 4 .5

1 0 0 .0

8 5 .9

1 0 0 .0

8 2 .7

1 0 0 .0

4 8 .0

1 0 0 .0

4 8 .0

1 0 0 .0

4 7 .0

1 0 0 .0

f
.

Professional, technical.
and clerical ...................

1 .3

1 .5

1 .0

1 .2

1 .7

2 .0

.6

1 .2

.4

.8

.9

1 .9

Superintendents and
blue-collar supervisors ..

8 .2

9 .7

8 .9

1 0 .4

7 .4

9 .0

5 .6

1 1 .7

6 .1

1 2 .7

4 .9

1 0 .4

3 0 .5

3 6 .1

2 1 .8

2 5 .4

4 0 .8

4 9 .3

2 0 .5

4 2 .7

1 5 .4

3 2 .0

2 6 .5

1 .4

1 .7

1.1

1 .3

1 .7

2 .0

.5

1 .0

.1

.2

.9

1 .9

6 .5

7 .7

2.1

2 .4

1 1 .8

3 .3

6 .9

.6

1 .2

6 .7

1 4 .3
2 .8

Skilled trades ...................
Bricklayers ................
C arpen ters.................
Cement finishers .....
Electricians ...............
Ironworkers ...............
Operating engineers ..
Painters ......................
Plumbers ...................
Other skilled trades ..

1 4 .3

5 6 .3

1.1

1 .3

.4

.5

1 .9

2 .3

.9

1 .9

.7

1 .5

1 .3

1.3

1 .5

.1

.1

2 .7

3 .3

1 .4

2 .9

.2

.4

2 .7

5 .7

1 .6

1 .9

.3

.4

3 .2

3 .9

.9

1 .9

.1

.2

2 .1

4 .5

1 4 .7

1 7 .4

1 6 .8

1 9 .6

1 2 .1

1 4 .6

1 3 .1

2 7 .3

1 .5

9 .8
.4

2 0 .4

1 .2

.6

—

.7

—

.8

5 .4

1 1 .4

—

—

.9

1 .9

—

—

3 .4

7 .2

2.1

2 .5

.3

.4

4 .2

5.1

1 .6

3 .3

1 .2

1 .4

.6

.7

1 .9

2 .3

1 .7

3 .5

.6

1 .2

3 .1

6 .6

O ile rs ...................................

2 .4

2 .8

2 .7

3 .2

2 .1

2 .5

.9

1 .9

.9

1 .9

1.1

2 .3

Pipelayers ..........................

5 .1

6 .0

8 .2

9 .6

1 .3

1 .6

2 .0

4 .2

3 .0

6 .2

.4

.9

Power and handtool
op erato rs........................

1 .2

1 .4

1 .0

1 .2

1 .4

1 .7

2 .4

5 .0

4 .0

8 .3

.3

.6

Truckdrivers ......................

2 .7

3 .2

3 .5

4 .1

1 .7

2 .1

1 .6

3 .3

2 .0

4 .2

1 .0

2.1

Laborers, helpers, and
tenders ...........................

3 3 .0

3 9 .1

3 8 .6

4 4 .9

2 6 .3

3 1 .8

1 4 .4

3 0 .0

1 6 .2

3 3 .7

1 1 .8

2 5 .1

NOTE: Detail may not add to totals because of rounding.

Table 4.

Dash denotes no data reported.

Range of onsite employee-hours per $1,000 of contract cost for sewer works construction, 1971

Principal type of contract
Total sewer works ..............................
Total lines ............................................
Sewer lines ...................................
Lift statio ns...................................
Sewer lines and other ...............
Total plants ...........................................
Primary treatment plants ..........
Secondary treatment plants ....
Pumping stations ........................
Waste stabilization p o n d s .........

United States
10
10
10
27
18
19
27
19
24
28

—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—

237
237
237
54
101
85
76
84
65
85

Northeast
10
10
10
27
18
24
40
27
24

— 237
— 237
— 237
— 43
— 71
— 62
— 40
— 62
— 50
—

6

South
18
18
18
32
29
39
.41
39
65
85

—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—

163
163
163
54
101
85
76
84
65
85

North Central
19
28
28
44
31
19
27
19
33

—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—

98
98
70
44
98
71
34
71
33

West
20 — 85
20 — 64
20 — 64
31
28
39
28
33
28

—
—
—
—
—
—

61
85
50
41
35
85

tively more expensive labor in the Northeast. That is, in
the Northeast, machinery and equipment are substi­
tuted more freely for relatively more expensive labor.
Consequently, there is a large differential in the num­
ber of onsite employee-hours required between the two
regions—43 hours per $ 1,000 of cost in the Northeast
as opposed to 67 hours in the South, as shown in the
following tabulation:

Chart 2. Percent distribution of contract costs
for sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971
Percent

Materials,
built-in
equipment,
and supplies

Onsite employeehours per $ 1,000 of Average hourly
earnings
contract cost

United States ...
Northeast ..............
North Central ........
South ....................
West ......................

Onsite wages
and salaries

$5.35

43
39
67
39

6.35
5.92
3.97
5.77

The largest disparities among the cost factors were in
construction equipment costs between the Western and
the Southern regions, about 6 percent and 15 percent,
respectively, materials, supplies, and built-in equip­
ment costs of 51 percent and 37 percent for the West­
ern and North Central regions, respectively, and in
overhead and profit between the Southern and the
North Central regions, about 16 and 29 percent, re­
spectively. For further details, see “ Distribution of
construction contract costs” in chapter IV of this bulle­
tin.

Overhead
and profit

Construction
equipment
1963

48

1971

7

Chapter III.

Labor Requirements and C h arac teris tic s

Onsite

significant variation in the onsite employee-hour re­
quirements. These regional differences are largely the
result of the regional variation in project mix, the avail­
able labor supply, and the local prevailing wage rates.
The high labor requirements in the South reflect the
existence of a large local pool of unskilled labor and
low wage rates; hence, there is a preference for the use
of labor rather than construction machinery.
The onsite labor hours for individual projects ranged
nationally from 10 to 237 per $1,000 in sewer line
construction, and for treatment plants, from 19 to 85
hours per $1,000. (See table 4.) For the United States
as a whole, the variation in hours was greater in the
construction of sewer lines than for treatment plants
but the range varied among the regions. In the North­
east the onsite employee-hour spread was the same as
for the United States. However, the spread was nar­
rower in the other regions.

Onsite labor requirements per 1,000 current dollars
of contract value averaged 48 hours in 1971 for sewer
works at the national level. The requirements were
virtually identical for lines and plants—48 and 47
hours, respectively. The comparable data for 1962-63
were 86 hours for lines and 83 hours for plants. A
major portion of the decline in onsite labor hours was
the result of inflationary forces and the concomitant
reduction in the purchasing power of construction
capital. The tabulation below compares the onsite la­
bor hours of the two studies on a constant-dollar basis.

Employee-hours per $1,000,
1963 dollars
1962-63

1971

Average
annual
percent
change

Total .......

85

71

-2.2

Lines ................
Plants ...............

86
83

71
69

-2.3
-2.2

Labor requirements by occupation. Forty-three percent
of the onsite employee-hours required to construct
sewer facilities were performed by operating engineers
and other skilled tradesworkers, e.g., carpenters, elec­
tricians, etc. (See table 3.) Unskilled and semiskilled
workers, i.e., laborers, helpers, tenders, truckdrivers,
etc., accounted for 44 percent of onsite labor require­
ments. However, the occupational distribution of sewer
line construction differs from that for treatment plants.
Operating engineers were credited with 27 percent
of the onsite hours required to construct sewers,
whereas they performed only 11 percent of the onsite
hours used to erect the treatment plants. The other
skilled trades accounted for only 5 percent of the onsite
labor for sewer lines. On the other hand, these trades
provided 45 percent of the onsite employee-hours re­
quired to build treatment plants. Unskilled and semi­
skilled workers performed a substantial portion of the
onsite employee-hours required by both types of con­
struction. They accounted for 54 percent of the onsite
hours for sewer lines and 31 percent for treatment
plants.
The occupational pattern for sewer lines is one that is
naturally associated with construction that requires
excavating, pipe handling, and backfilling. These ac­
tivities call for operators of a large amount of heavy
construction equipment—backhoes, cranes, trench -

After removing the effects of cost inflation, onsite
labor hours declined over 2 percent a year for both
lines and plants. However, this decline cannot be attrib­
uted solely to improved efficiency in the utilization of
onsite labor. Other factors involved are shifts in the mix
of materials, construction methods, and characteristics
of the structure. Nevertheless, there is an indication of
improved onsite worker productivity.
Labor requirements by region. Onsite employee-hours
per $1,000 of construction cost for 1971 for each
region are indicated below:
Total
Lines Plants
48
47
48
United States .........

Northeast .........................
North Central ..................
South ...............................
West ................................

43
39
67
39

37
42
67
41

46
36
66
38

The data demonstrate that on the national level there
is no significant difference between the labor require­
ments for sewer lines compared with treatment plants.
However, except in the South, the regional data show
8

ers—in addition to a substantial amount of semiskilled
and unskilled labor. This is shown by the fact that 82
percent of the onsite labor requirements for sewer line
construction and only 42 percent of the onsite labor
hours for the erection of treatment plants were per­
formed by these occupations.
Regionally, the percentage distribution of onsite em­
ployee-hours among operating engineers, skilled
tradesworkers, and semiskilled and unskilled workers
generally resembled the national pattern. However,
there were a few significant exceptions. In the con­
struction of treatment plants, the South showed rela­
tively greater use of operating engineers and semi­
skilled and unskilled workers, and less use of the other
skilled tradesworkers. On the other hand, in the North
Central region the relationship was reversed, as is
shown in the following tabulation:
Percent distribution of onsite hours for
treatment plants
United States South North Central
Operating
engineers........
11.4
19.6
6.3
Other skilled
tradesworkers..
44.9
27.3
57.7
Semiskilled and
unskilled
workers..........
31.0
36.8
26.9

tion of the total onsite employee-hours increased sub­
stantially in the carpentry, bricklaying, cement finish­
ing, and ironworking trades. (See table 6.)
Offsite

Offsite employee-hours represent builders’ adminis­
trative office and warehousing activities, and the labor
to produce and distribute the materials, equipment,
and supplies required at the construction site. Major
categories involved are: (1) Offsite construction, (2)
manufacturing, (3) wholesale trade, transportation,
and services, and (4) mining and other industries either
directly or indirectly involved in the production and
distribution process. (See chart 3.)
Offsite or indirect labor requirements are higher than
onsite requirements as a percent of total labor demand
and have grown larger since 1963. Offsite require­
ments, including offsite construction, went from 58
percent of total requirements in 1963 to 61 percent in
1971 for sewer works construction. This trend is ex­
pected to continue as the prefinishing of materials
offsite and the use of more complex, expensive equip­
ment shift jobs away from the construction site to
industries such as manufacturing.
Builders' offsite employee-hours. Three employee-

There are two other significant departures from the
national averages. These occurred in regard to the use
of skilled tradesworkers1 in sewer line construction. In
3
the North Central region only 1.7 percent of onsite
labor hours were attributable to these occupations,
compared to 9.2 percent in the West. The national
average was 4.7 percent. Regional differences in the
distribution of employee-hours by occupation are diffi­
cult to interpret. They may be due largely to the chance
occurrence of projects with unusual features or to local
differences in job classification.
Since operating engineers made up such a large per­
centage of sewer works construction hours, a separate
tabulation was made of labor requirements by type of
operating engineer. (See table 5.) Five types of operat­
ing engineers—bulldozer, front-end loader, backhoe,
crane-shovel dragline, and pump and compressor op­
erators—made up over 80 percent of this occupational
group at the national level. These types of operating
engineers generally are dominant in each of the four
regions.

hours per $1,000 of contract costs were expended in
this category for sewer works in 1971.1 This includes
4
contractors’ administrative, coordinating, estimating,
scheduling, engineering (but not design work), mainte­
nance, site protection, and warehousing activities. The
figure for 1963 was 5 hours. Both of these figures
represent slightly more than 2 percent, a relatively
small portion, of total labor requirements for sewer
works construction. This is so because general contrac­
tors often limit their major responsibilities to overall
coordination, scheduling, control, and supervision of
construction.
Manufacturing. Manufacturing was by far the largest
and most important contributor of offsite employeehours because the bulk of materials, supplies, and
equipment required for construction were produced in
that sector. Manufacturing contributed 50 employeehours per $1,000 of contract cost in 1971 and 78 hours
in 1963. This represents over 40 percent of total labor

Apprentice onsite employee-hours. The 1963 survey

14Offsite construction employee-hours were estimated from the
ratio of nonconstruction workers to total workers for total contract
construction as shown in the March issues of Employment and Earn­
ings (Bureau of Labor Statistics) for the years covered or Employ­
ment and Earnings, United States, 1909-72, Bulletin 1312-9 (Bureau
of Labor Statistics). The resulting ratio was applied to the onsite
hours obtained from the survey. An adjustment was made to remove
administrative and clerical hours already counted in the onsite fig­
ures.

showed that employee-hours for apprentices as a per­
cent of skilled onsite employee-hours were significant
mainly in the plumbing and electrical trades. The 1971
study found that, while apprentices continued to be
utilized extensively in these two trades, their propor< Other than operating engineers.
3

9

Table 5. Operating engineers: Onsite employee-hours and percent distribution per $1,000 of contract cost, United States and
regions, 1971
Un ited S tates
To tal

T y p e of
o p e ra tin g en g in e e r

Em ployee
hours

Total ..........................
Bulldozer operator ..........
Roller o p e ra to r.................
Trencher operator ...........
Front-end loader operator .
Backhoe o p e ra to r............
Crane-shovel dragline
operator .........................
Tractor operator ..............
Pump and compressor
operator .........................
Scraper operator .............
Other operating
engineers .......................

Northeast

Lines

P e rc en t
o f tota l
hou rs

9 .8

Plants

T o ta l

E m ployee
hours

E m ployee
hours

P e rc ent
o f total
hours

E m ployee
hours

P e rc ent
o f total
hours

E m ployee
hou rs

P e rc ent
of total
hours

E m ployee
hours

P ercent
o f total
hours

2 0 .4

1 3 .1

2 7 .3

5 .4

1 1 .4

7 .1

1 6 .4

9 .5

2 5 .7

4 .7

1 0 .3

1 .7

3 .5

1 .9

4 .0

1 .2

2 .6

.6

1 .4

.7

1 .8

.6

1 .2

.0

.0

.1

.2

.0

.0

.1

.2

.2

.4

.0

.0

.4

.8

.7

1 .5

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

1 .5

3 .2

2 .5

5 .0

.3

.7

1 .5

3 .5

2 .7

7 .5

.4

.8

1 .6

3 .3

2 .2

4 .5

.8

1 .6

1 .0

2 .3

1 .1

3 .0

.9

2 .0

1 .8

3 .7

2 .1

4 .4

1 .3

2 .7

1 .4

3 .3

1 .5

4 .0

1 .3

2 .9

.1

.2

.1

.2

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

1 .3

2 .7

2 .1

4 .3

.3

.7

.8

1 .8

.9

2 .5

.6

1 .3

.1

.3

.2

.5

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

1 .3

2 .7

1 .2

2 .6

1 .5

3 .1

1 .7

3 .9

2 .4

6 .5

.9

2.1

.0

N o rth C e ntral
T o ta l

Bulldozer operator ..........
Roller o p e ra to r.................
Trencher operator ...........
Front-end loader operator .
Backhoe o p e ra to r............
Crane-shovel-dragline
operator .........................
Tractor operator ..............
Pump and compressor
operator .........................
Scraper operator .............
Other operating
engineers .......................

South

Lines

E m ployee
hou rs

Total ..........................

Plants

Lines

P e rc ent
o f total
hours

P e rc en t
o f to ta l
hou rs

8 .0

P lants

Em ployee
hours

P e rc ent
o f total
hours

2 0 .4

1 1 .2

1 .5

3 .8

.0

.0

.2

T o ta l

Lines

Plants

Em ployee
hou rs

Percent
of total
hours

E m ployee
hours

P ercent
of total
hours

2 6 .2

1 9 .2

2 8 .6

1 2 .9

1 9 .6

3 .5

5 .2

2 .9

4 .3

4 .7

7 .1

.0

.0

.1

.2

.0

.0

.0

1 .4

2.1

1 .9

2 .9

.1

.2

.1

.2

1 .8

2 .7

2 .5

3 .7

.3

.4

6 .5

.1

.2

2 .6

3 .8

2 .7

4 .0

1 .8

2 .7

2.1

5 .1

.8

2 .2

2 .4

3 .6

2 .9

4 .3

.8

1 .2

.2

.4

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.2

.0

.0

.2

.5

4 .0

5 .9

5 .3

7 .9

.3

.4

.2

.1

.3

.0

.0

.4

.6

.6

.9

.0

.0

2 .8

1 .5

3 .6

.4

1 .3

1 .5

2 .3

.3

.4

4 .9

7 .6

E m ployee
hours

P e rc ent
o f tota l
hours

E m ployee
hours

P e rc ent
o f total
hours

2 6 .6

2 .3

6 .3

1 7 .6

1 .9

4 .6

.0

.0

.7

1 .9

.0

.0

.6

.4

.9

.0

1 .4

3 .7

2 .2

5 .2

1 .8

4 .6

2 .8

1 .7

4 .3

.1

.2

.1
.1
1.1

W est
Lines

T o ta l

E m ployee
hours
5 .4

Plants

E m ployee
hours

1 3 .8

1 0 .7

2 6 .1

3 .2

■ 8 .5

2 .6

2 .7

6 .3

.3

.9

.0

.0

.0

.1

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

.0

1 .0

Bulldozer operator .............
Roller o p erato r.....................
Trencher operator ..............
Front-end loader operator .
Backhoe o p e ra to r...............
Crane-shovel-dragline o p e ra to r..........
Tractor operator .................
Pump and compressor o p e ra to r.........
Scraper operator ................
Other operating engineers

E m ployee
hou rs

P ercent
o f total
hours

1 .0

T o ta l.............................

P ercent
of total
hours

Percent
o f total
hours

2 .6

2 .3

5 .7

.4

1 .0

.9

2 .2

5 .4

.3

.9

3 .7

1 .8

4 .4

1 .3

3 .4

.4

.9

.6

1 .5

.3

.7

.0

.0

.2

.5

.0

.0

.0

.0

.1

.2

.0

.0

.7

10

2 .3

1 .4

1 .7

.8

2 .0

.6

1 .6

Chart 3. Employee-hours per $1,000 of contract cost for sewer line and plant construction,
19t>3 and 1971
Employee-hours

Construction

Manufacturing

Wholesale trade,
transportation,
and services

Mining and other

works construction, about 15 employee-hours per
$1,000 were generated in industries which provide
transportation or other services for materials, either
between processing stages or between the last stage of
manufacturing and the construction site. About 23
hours were generated in 1963. Wholesale trade, trans­
portation, and services accounted for about 12 and 11
percent in 1971 and 1963, respectively, of total em­
ployee-hour requirements. In future studies, an attempt
will be made to include the employee-hours expended
in the retail trade sector. This would have the effect of
raising labor requirements a few hours per $1,000 of
contract cost.
Mining and other industries. Measured in this category
is the labor impact of producing materials, equipment,
and supplies from mining, agriculture, communica­
tions, public utilities, finance, insurance, real estate,
and government enterprises. This sector accounted for
8 employee-hours per $ 1,000 of contract cost for sewer
works in 1971 and 13 hours in 1963, contributing
about 7 and 6 percent, respectively, of total labor
requirements.

Tabl* 6. Apprentice employee-hours as a percent of skilled
onsite employment for sewer works construction, by
occupation and major construction type, 1963 and 1971
197 1

1963

O c c u p a t io n
T o ta l

All skilled trades ....
Operating
engineers .....
Carpenters .......
Plumbers ..........
Ironw orkers.....
Bricklayers .......
Electricians .....
Cement finishers
Painters ............
Other skilled
trades ............

L in e s

P la n ts

T o ta l

L in e s

P la n ts

3.5

0.1

5.9

2.2

1.1

2.9

.3
6.3
7.8
2.6
4.6
13.4

.1
—
6.2
.7
—
3.6

1.0
7.0
7.8
2.6
5.5
14.2

.2
2.0
8.9
1.4
1.5
14.1

.4
4.6
18.9

—
1.5
8.0
1.6
2.7
14.5

3.9
2.6

1.0
1.7

6.8

5.2

2.3
2.5
5.5

—

—
.2

—

—
8.3
—

—
.4

1.2
1.8
7.1

requirements in 1971 and about 38 percent in 1963.
Important components of this sector are stone, clay,
glass, and concrete products; construction equipment;
and machinery, except electrical.
Wholesale trade, transportation, and services. For sewer
11

Chapter IV.

Distribution of Costs and Wages

Distribution of construction contract costs
Chart 4. Percent distribution of contract costs
for sewer line and plant construction,
1963 and 1971

The distribution of costs in 1971 was as follows: 25
percent for onsite wages and salaries, 52 percent for
materials, supplies, and equipment, and 23 percent for
overhead and profit. (See table 7.) The cost distribu­
tion varied only slightly between lines and plants. (See
chart 4.) However, there was a major difference in cost
components between lines and plants regarding the use
of construction equipment as opposed to materials,
supplies, and built-in equipment. Construction equip­
ment accounted for about 17 percent of the cost for
lines and about 6 percent for plants. On the other hand,
materials, supplies, and built-in equipment accounted
for a much larger share for plants than for lines, i.e.,
about 47 and 35 percent, respectively.
Onsite labor costs as a percent of total cost for sewer
line construction did not change between 1963 and
1971. Materials, equipment, and supplies declined to
51.9 percent in 1971 from 55.7 percent in 1963, while
the percentage allocated to profit and overhead in­
creased to 23.8 percent from 20.0 percent.
A similar shift in the allocation of the construction
costs occurred for treatment plants surveyed. Onsite
labor costs decreased only slightly, to 25.2 percent in
1971 from 26.6 percent in 1963. On the other hand,
the share of m aterials, equipm ent, and supplies
dropped to 52.6 percent in 1971 from 57.4 percent in
1963. Profit and overhead climbed to 22.2 percent in
1971 from 16.0 percent in 1963.
The total cost allotted to materials, equipment, and
Table 7.

Materials,
built-in
equipment,
and supplies

Onsite wages
and salaries

Overhead and
profit

Construction
equipment

Percent distribution of contract costs for sewer works construction, United States, 1963 and 1971, and regions, 1971
R e g io n s . 1971

U n ite d S ta te s
1963

Type of
cost

T o ta l

L in e s

N o rth e a s t

197 1
P la n ts

Total expenditures . 100.0 100.0 100.0
Onsite wages and
25.3 24.3 26.6
sa laries.....................
Materials, built-in
equipment, and
46.6 44.5 49.2
supp lies....................
Construction
eq u ip m e n t...............
9.9 11.2
8.2
Overhead and profit i ...
18.2 20.0 16.0

T o ta l

L in e s

P la n ts

100.0 100.0 100.0

T o ta l

L in e s

N o r th C e n t r a l
P la n ts

100.0 100.0 100.0

T o ta l

L in e s

P la n ts

100.0 100.0 100.0

S o u th
T o ta l

L in e s

W est
P la n ts

100.0 100.0 100.0

T o ta l

L in e s

P la n ts

100.0 100.0 100.0

24.7

24.3

25.2

26.0

24.1

27.4

23.4

24.2

21.8

25.5

25.3

26.0

22.2

21.2

22.6

40.7

35.2

47.0

37.9

35.1

39.8

36.5

29.0

51.3

43.2

39.2

53.5

50.6

41.4

54.2

11.5
23.1

16.7
23.8

5.6
22.2

11.7
24.4

19.1
21.7

6.5
26.3

10.8
29.3

14.5
32.4

3.6
23.3

15.0
16.3

17.9
17.6

7.4
13.1

5.8
21.4

10.8
26.6

3.8
19.3

i Overhead costs include salaries of offsite workers, supplemental
benefits, interest expense, bonding, office expense, inventory and other
overhead and miscellaneous expenses.

NOTE: Detail may not add to 100.0 percent because of rounding,

12

supplies declined by 6.8 percent for sewer lines and 8.4
percent for plants. (For more detailed description of
material costs, see next section.) However, the profit
and overhead portion increased by 19 percent for
sewer lines and 38.7 percent for plants. This sharp
change in the relative position of these components is
largely the result of differential shifts in costs among
the various categories. The cost of sewer works con­
struction increased over 47 percent between the two
survey periods, as measured by the EPA price indexes
for sewer lines and treatment plants, while the whole­
sale price index for all construction materials rose only
20 percent.
The cost distributions for the regions were similar to
the distribution for the Nation, but there were some
differences. The North Central region showed the
greatest proportion of contract dollars allotted to over­
head and profit for sewer lines (32.4 percent). The
South had the lowest percentage in that cost category
for both sewer lines and plants: 17.6 and 13.1 percent,
respectively. In both regions, the materials, equipment,
and supplies cost component exhibited the same in­
verse relationship with the profit and overhead compo­
nent that was observed nationally: As one decreased
the other increased. The survey did not provide infor­
mation regarding the items included in overhead. One
of these items would be the cost of fringe benefits
received by the worker. These benefits would tend to
be less costly in an area like the South, where unions
are not strong, than in the more highly unionized areas,
such as the North Central region. The variation in the
level of fringe benefits may partially explain the fact
that the percentages of the total contract cost allotted
to profit and overhead in the regions differ markedly. A
definitive explanation of this situation cannot be made
without further research.

construction in class intervals by percent of construc­
tion contract amount allocated to onsite wages, the
class with the greatest percent of the weighted total
contract value (the modal class) was usually 20 to
under 30 percent. (See table 8.) The exceptions were
the Northeast and the West for sewer line construction
where the modal class was 10 to under 20 percent.
However, at the national level the modal class for both
lines and plants was 20 to under 30 percent in 1963 and
1971.

Materials, equipment, and supplies

The total of all expenditures for materials, supplies,
and equipment per $1,000 of construction contract
cost for sewer works construction in the 1971 survey
was $522.01 (table 9), a decline of $42.69 or 7.6
percent from the previous study. The cost of materials,
equipment, and supplies for lines in 1971 was $519.23;
the cost for plants was $525.20. These represent de­
creases since 1963 of 6.8 and 8.5 percent, respectively.
Materials, equipment, and supplies used in sewer
works construction accounted for 52.2 percent of each
$1,000 of construction contract cost (table 10). For
lines it was 51.9 percent and for plants 52.5 percent.
The comparable data for 1963 were: All sewer works
construction, 56.5 percent; lines, 55.7 percent; and
plants, 57.4 percent.
These declines were largely the result of the increase
in the proportion of the construction dollar represented
by other cost factors, primarily costs allocated to profit
and overhead.
The distribution of materials shown in table 10 indi­
cates the relative importance of the various product
groups. The stone, clay, glass, and concrete products
category ranked first with 29 percent of the total prod­
uct value for sewer works constructed in 1971; con­
tractor equipment was second with 22 percent. This
group was followed by machinery except electrical, 18
percent; primary metal products, 9 percent; and fabri-

Wages as a percent of contract coats

When the percent distribution of the weighted total
cost of all contracts was arrayed by region and type of

Tabie 8. Percent distribution of contract cost for sewer works construction by percent of contract cost expended for wages,
United States, 1963 and 1971, and regions, 1971
Regions, 1971

United States
1971

1963

Wages as a percent of

Northeast

North Central

South

West

Lines

Plants

Lines

Plants

Lines

Plants

Lines

Plants

Lines

Plants

Lines

Plants

Total .................

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Under 1 0 ......................
10 and under 20 .......
20 and under 30 ........
30 and under 40 ........
40 and under 50 ........

2.5
30.8
47.2
15.8
3.7

1.1
8.7
61.5
28.4
.3

.4
25.0
65.9
8.7
0.0

0.0
19.9
63.4
14.7
2.0

0.0
49.5
35.1
15.4
0.0

0.0
9.8
62.8
23.1
4.4

0.0
5.8
87.4
6.8
0.0

0.0
26.7
61.1
12.2
0.0

1.1
14.2
82.6
2.1
0.0

0.0
16.0
71.1
12.9
0.0

0.0
57.2
21.4
21.3
0.0

0.0
39.0
81.0
0.0
0.0

contract cost

NOTE: Detail may not add to 100.0 percent because of rounding.

13

cated metal products, 8 percent. These product groups
ranked in the same order with regard to sewer works
construction in 1963.
As would be expected, the various construction
products that were used to construct sewer lines were
used in proportions that differed sharply from those
required to erect sewage treatment plants. The follow­
ing tabulation shows the percent of the total made up
by the leading groups of materials, equipment, and
supplies used to construct sewer works in 1971:
Product group

Total ....................
Stone, clay, glass, and
concrete products ........
Contractor equipment .....
Primary metal products ....
Petroleum refining and
related products ...........
Machinery, except
electrical .....................
Fabricated metal products .
All other .........................

equipment for lines. Several factors can account for
these shifts. In addition to the general decline in mate­
rials costs for a given unit of costs (i.e., $ 1,000), substi­
tution of one type of material for another and relative
price changes can account for the change.
Total materials, equipment, and supplies used to
construct sewer works break down into 11 major
groups. The expenditures for six of these groups in­
creased between 1963 and 1971 while the expenditures
for the remaining five groups decreased during the
same period. The decreases were sufficiently large to
offset the increases that occurred in the remaining six
groups.
The following tabulation lists selected products that
showed significant shifts between 1963 and 1971 in
value per $ 1,000 of contract cost of the total materials,
equipment, and supplies used to construct sewer lines
and plants:
Percent
1971
change
1963

Sewer lines Treatment plants

100

100

41
32
7

16
11
11

5

1

4
2
9

34
14
13

Sewer lines:
Asphalt paving .............

Table 9.

$15.06

+ 104

Asbestos cement pipe ....

7.20

14.31

+ 99

Contractor equipment ... 112.50
Pumps, compressors, and
pumping equipment ... 15.80
Reinforcing rods and
4.70
bars-joist ...................

167.28

+ 49

Sand and gravel ...........

Over 50 percent of the value of the stone, clay, glass,
and concrete products used to construct sewer lines
consisted of concrete pipe. A comparatively insignifi­
cant amount of concrete pipe went into the erection of
the sewage treatment plants. The leading product
group used for treatment plants, machinery except
electrical, consisted largely of built-in sewage process­
ing equipment.
There were a few significant shifts in the distribution
of the major groups of materials, supplies, and equip­
ment between 1963 and 1971. There was a decline in
the percentage allotted to stone, clay, glass, and con­
crete products for lines; an increase in the proportion
spent on machinery, except electrical, for plants; and
an increase in the proportion spent on contractor

$7.40

22.80

Treatment plants:
Steel pipe .....................
6.70
Asphalt paving .............
1.60
Chlorinators .................
2.40
Electric meters and
measuring equipment .
3.90
Mechanical collectors .... 34.10
Power distributors and
specialty transformers . 4.30

2.84

—

82

2.69

-

43

14.75

-

35

12.41
2.72
3.78

+ 85
+ 70
+ 58

.87
8.47
1.72

78
— 75

___

— 60

Materials, equipment, and supplies used In sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971
Per $1,000 of contract cost
1963

Item
Total
Total materials,
equipment, and
supplies................

$564.70

1971

Lines

Plants

$557.20

Total

Lines

Plants

$573.90

$522.01

$519.23

$525.20

Materials, built-in equipment, and supplies
Total materials, built-in
equipment, and supplies

466.10

444.70

492.10

406.80

351.95

469.57

Agricultural products...................
N ursery.....................................

1.00
1.00

.40
.40

1.80
1.80

1.08
1.08

1.28
1.28

.84
.84

Mining and quarrying of
nonmetallic minerals except
fuels ..............................................
Sand and gravel .....................
Other nonmetallic minerals
except fuels ........................

20.10
17.70

25.90
22.80

13.00
11.50

12.22
10.06

17.80
14.75

5.83
4.70

2.40

3.10

1.50

2.16

3.05

1.13

14

Table 9.

Materials, equipment, and supplies used in sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971—Continued
Per $1,000 of contract cost
1971

1963

Item
Total

Lines

Plants

Total

Lines

Plants

Materials, built-in equipment, and supplies
Lumber and wood products
except furniture .........................
Dimension lumber ................
Other lumber and wood
products ..............................

6.70
5.40

4.40
4.20

9.40
6.90

10.28
5.81

7.96
3.13

12.92
8.87

1.30

.20

2.50

4.47

4.83

4.05

3.60
1.80
1.10

2.00
1.30
.10

5.60
2.50
2.40

5.28
2.79
1.12

5.93
4.99
.06

4.56
.29
2.34

.70

.60

.70

1.37

.88

1.93

14.00

16.80

10.60

16.44

25.03

6.54

8.70
4.80
.50

9.20
7.40
.20

8.00
1.60
1.00

6.45
9.30
.69

9.38
15.06
.59

3.14
2.72
.68

214.50
88.00
29.80
2.50
6.00

311.30
147.40
16.30
2.40
7.20

96.30
15.70
46.30
2.70
4.50

151.22
64.48
24.99
1.29
9.05

211.71
108.05
16.81
.49
14.31

82.03
14.82
34.35
2.20
3.04

88.20

138.00

27.10

51.41

72.05

27.62

Primary metal products ...............
Cast iron p ip e .........................
Steel p ip e .................................
Structural s te e l.......................
Cast iron products
(manholes, etc.) ..................
Fence posts, fencing ............
Other primary metal
products ..........................

64.20
34.10
8.00
8.80

49.00
28.50
9.00
.70

83.10
41.00
6.70
18.70

47.98
23.05
10.55
6.17

38.32
20.15
8.93
1.05

58.94
26.38
12.41
12.02

5.50
1.80

8.80
.50

1.40
3.40

3.51
2.21

5.31
.96

1.45
3.61

6.00

1.50

11.90

2.49

1.92

3.07

Fabricated metal pro d u c ts..........
Reinforcing rods and bars;
joist .......................................
Pipe fittings and plumbing
fixtures .................................
Metal plate products ............
Fabricated metal plate
products ..............................
Metal doors, windows, and
fra m e s ...................................
Other fabricated metal
products ...............................

41.50

13.30

75.50

39.84

11.43

72.85

15.30

4.70

28.20

10.94

2.69

20.83

8.30
4.20

2.30
1.70

15.70
7.30

9.42
1.94

1.61
.04

18.36
4.13

3.40

.60

6.70

1.62

.08

3.39

2.50

.80

4.60

1.74

.08

3.66

7.80

3.20

13.00

14.18

6.93

22.48

Machinery, except ele ctrica l.......
Sewage "packaged"
eq u ip m e n t...........................
Other sewage injector and
disposal equipm ent...........
Blowers, exhaust and
ventilating fans ...................
Chlorinators............................
Pumps, compressors, and
pumping eq uip m ent..........
Collectors, m echanical.........
Digesters, clarifiers...............
D iffusers...................................
Other machinery, except
ele ctrica l..............................

66.40

16.80

128.20

94.55

23.29

176.01

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

32.59

19.35

47.75

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

10.05

0)

21.54

2.40
1.10

.20
0)

5.00
2.40

1.02
1.82

.23
.11

1.93
3.78

27.20
15.40
10.00
5.10

15.80
0)
.10
(D

41.00
34.10
22.10
11.40

15.44
3.96
11.69
3.09

2.84
.01
.07
.08

29.86
8.47
24.98
6.52

5.20

.70

12.20

14.89

.60

31.18

26.80

4.10

54.60

19.26

5.33

35.31

1.56

1.43

1.72

Chemical and allied products.....
Dynamite and caps ...............
Paint .........................................
Other chemical and allied
products ...............................
Petroleum refining and related
products ......................................
Fuels, diesel fuel, gas, oil,
grease ...................................
Asphalt paving .......................
Other petroleum products ...
Stone, clay, glass, and concrete
products ......................................
Concrete p ip e .........................
Ready mixed concrete .........
Concrete b lo c k .......................
Asbestos cement pipe ..........
Other stone, clay, glass, and
concrete prod ucts.............

Electrical machinery, equipment.
and supplies................................
Power distribution and
specialty transformers ......
Electrical switchboards and
panel b o a rd s .......................
Electric motors and
ge nerators...........................

1.90

4.30

d)

12.80

1.40

26.80

6.96

1.48

13.64

1.40

.20

3.00

1.95

1.14

2.88

15

Table 9.

Materials, equipment, and supplies used in sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971—Continued
Per $1,000 of contract cost
1971

1963

Item
Total

Lines

Total

Plants

Lines

Plants

Materials, built-in equipment, and supplies
Electric meters and
measuring equipment .......
Conduit and conduit fittings
Current-carrying devices .....
Lighting fixtures and
nonelectric lamps and
b u lb s .....................................
Other electric equipment and
supplies ...............................
All other types of materials, builtin equipment, and supplies .....

2.10
1.60
1.20

.60
.40
.20

3.90
3.20
2.40

.51
1.69
.47

.20
.28
.15

.87
3.31
.84

1.00

.20

2.10

1.15

.07

2.38

4.80

1.10

8.90

4.97

.58

9.67

7.30

.70

14.00

8.65

3.87

13.74

Contractor equipment
Total, contractor
equipment2 ......................
Drill rigs ..........................................
Front-end loaders .........................
Trucks ..............................................
Power cranes, drag lines,
shovels.........................................
Tractors and bulldozers ..............
Other ................................................

98.60

112.50

81.80

115.21

167.28

55.63

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

29.54
16.12
11.98

46.70
26.89
17.20

9.87
3.78
6.03

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

15.44
14.24
27.89

18.36
16.96
41.17

12.11
11.13
12.71

t insufficient data.
2 Rental value if rented, depreciation or equivalent rental value if
owned.

NOTE: Dollar figures for 1963 are rounded to the nearest 10 cents,
Detail may not add to totals because of rounding.

N.A. = Not available.

Table 10.

Percent distribution of materials, equipment, and supplies for sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971
Percent

Total
Total materials.
equipment, and
supplies................

1971

1963

Item

100.0

Plants

Lines

100.0

100.0

Total

100.0

Lines

100.0

Plants
, * .; . .
' {,.-V
,•
100.0

Materials, built-in equipment, and supplies
*
82.54

79.81

85.75

77.93

67.78

89.41

Agricultural products....................
Nursery products ..................

.18
.18

.07
.07

.31
.31

.21
.21

.25
.25

.16
.16

Mining and quarrying of
nonmetallic minerals except
fuels ..............................................
Sand and gravel .....................
Other nonmetallic minerals
except fuel ..........................

3.56
3.13

4.65
4.09

2.27
2.00

2.34
1.93

3.43
2.84

1.11
.89

.43

.56

.26

.41

.59

.22

1.19
.96

.79
.75

1.64
1.20

1.97
1.11

1.53
.60

2.46
1.69

.23

.04

.44

.86

.93

.77

.64
.32
.19

.36
.23
.02

.98
.44
.42

1.01
.53
.21

1.14
.96
.01

.87
.06
.45

.12

.11

.12

.26

.17

.37

2.48

3.02

1.85

3.15

4.82

1.25

.54
.85
.09

1.65
1.33
.04

1.39
.28
.17

1.24
1.78
.13

1.81
2.90
.11

.60
.52
.13

Total materials, built-in
equipment, and supplies .

Lumber and wood products
except furniture .........................
Dimension lumber ................
Other lumber and wood
products ..............................
Chemical and allied products.....
Dynamite and caps ...............
Paint .........................................
Other chemical and allied
products ..............................
Petroleum refining and related
products ......................................
Fuels, diesel fuel, gas, oil,
and grease ..........................
Asphalt paving .......................
Other petroleum products ...

16

Table 10.

Percent distribution of materials, equipment, and supplies for sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971—Continued
Percent
Item

1971

1963
Total

Lines

Plants

Total

Lines

Plants

Materials, built-in equipment, and supplies
Stone, clay, glass, and concrete
products ......................................
Concrete p ip e .........................
Ready mixed concrete .........
Concrete b lo c k .......................
Asbestos cement pipe ..........
Other stone, clay, glass, and
concrete p rod ucts.............

37.98
15.58
5.28
.44
1.06

55.87
26.45
2.93
.43
1.29

16.78
2.74
8.07
.47
.78

28.97
12.35
4.79
.25
1.73

40.77
20.81
3.24
.09
2.76

15.62
2.82
6.54
.42
.58

15.62

24.77

4.72

9.85

13.88

5.26

Primary metal prod ucts...............
Cast iron p ip e .........................
Steel p ip e .................................
Structural s te e l.......................
Cast iron products (manhole
covers, etc.) ........................
Fence posts, fencing ............
Other primary metal
products ..............................

11.37
6.04
1.42
1.56

8.79
5.11
1.62
.13

14.48
7.14
1.17
3.26

9.19
4.42
2.02
1.18

7.38
3.88
1.72
.20

11.22
5.02
2.36
2.29

.97
.32

1.58
.09

.24
.59

.67
.42

1.02
.18

.28
.69

1.06

.27

2.07

.48

.37

.58

Fabricated metal prod ucts..........
Reinforcing rods and bars;
joist .......................................
Pipe fittings and plumbing
fixtures .................................
Metal plate products ............
Fabricated metal plate
products ..............................
Metal doors, windows, and
fra m e s ...................................
Other fabricated metal
products ..............................

7.35

2.39

13.16

7.63

2.20

13.87

2.71

.84

4.91

2.10

.52

3.97

1.47
.74

.41
.31

2.74
1.27

1.80
.37

.31
.01

3.50
.79

.60

.11

1.17

.31

.02

.65

.44

.14

.80

.33

.02

.70

1.38

.57

2.27

2.72

1.33

4.28

Machinery, except ele ctrica l.......
Sewage "packaged"
equipment ...........................
Other sewage injector and
disposal equip m ent...........
Blowers, exhaust and
ventilating fans ...................
C hlorinators............................
Pumps, compressors, and
pumping equip m ent..........
Collectors, m echanical.........
Digesters, clarifiers...............
D iffusers...................................
Other machinery, except
ele ctrica l..............................

11.76

3.02

22.34

18.11

4.49

33.51

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

6.24

3.73

9.09

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

1.93

(1)

4.10

.43
.19

.04
(i)

.87
.42

.20
.35

.04
.02

.37
.72

4.82
2.73
1.77
.90

2.84
<)
1
.02
0)

7.14
5.94
3.85
1.99

2.96
.76
2.24
.59

.55
(2)
.01
.02

5.69
1.61
4.76
1.24

.92

.13

2.13

2.85

.12

5.94

4.75

.74

9.51

3.69

1.03

6.72

.34

0)

.75

.30

.28

.33

2.27

.25

4.67

1.33

.29

2.60

.25

.04

.52

.38

.22

.55

.37
.28
.21

.11
.07
.04

.68
.56
.42

.10
.32
.09

.04
.05
.03

.17
.63
.16

.18

.04

.37

.22

.01

.45

.85

.20

1.55

.95

.11

1.84

1.29

.13

2.44

1.66

.75

2.62

Electrical machinery, equipment.
and supp lies...............................
Power distribution and
specialty transformers ......
Electrical switchboards and
panel b o ard s.......................
Electrical motors and
ge nerators...........................
Electrical meters and
measuring eq u ip m e n t.......
Conduit and conduit fittings .
Current-carrying devices .....
Lighting fixtures and nonelectric lamps and bulbs ..
Other electric equipment and
supplies ...............................
All other types of materials, builtin equipment, and su pp lies....

i

17

Table 10.

Percent distribution of materials, equipment, and supplies for sewer works construction, 1963 and 1971—Continued
Percent
1971

1963

Item
Total

Lines

Plants

Total

Lines

Plants

Contractor equipment
Total, contractor
equipm ents..........................
Drill rigs ..........................................
Front-end loaders .........................
Power cranes, drag lines.
shovels.........................................
Tractors and bulldozers ..............
Trucks ..............................................
Other ................................................

17.46

20.19

14.25

22.07

32.22

10.59

N.A.
N.A.

N.A.
N.A.

N.A.
N.A.

5.66
3.09

8.99
5.18

1.88
.72

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

2.96
2.73
2.29
5.34

3.54
3.27
3.31
7.93

2.31
2.12
1.15
2.42

1 1nsufficient

data.
Less than .01 percent.
3 Rental value if rented, depreciation or equivalent rental value if
owned.

N.A. = Not available.

2

NOTE: Detail may not add to 100.0 percent because of rounding,

i

4

18

Chapter V.

Comparison with Previous Surveys

Comparison of cost components, all sewer
works construction studies

Employee-hour requirements for sewer works con­
struction during 1971 were higher than those required
for federally aided highways during 1973. (See table
11.) These two types of construction are roughly com­
parable.
Comparison of the percent distribution of the onsite
employee-hour requirements for the various types of
construction (table 12) shows that sewers and high­
ways have in common extensive use of operating engi­
neers. They fulfilled over one-fourth of all labor re­
quirements for highways and over one-fifth for sewer
works. For sewer lines the figure is even higher, over 27
percent. This reflects the heavy use of construction
equipment for these projects, as shown in table 13.
Comparison of cost figures in table 13 shows that the
percentage of total costs expended for onsite wages and
salaries was virtually identical for sewer works and
highways. Materials, supplies, and built-in equipment,
however, represented a slightly larger proportion of
total costs for highways than for sewer works. The cost
of construction equipment, while not available sepa­
rately for highways, is a substantial portion of total
costs for both of these activities. The figure for high­
ways is estimated to be relatively close to the figure for
sewer works, about 12 percent.
The heavy use of construction equipment for high­
ways has to be inferred from a comparison of the
percent of contract costs that is allocated to the com­
bined contract cost category, “ construction equipment
and overhead and profit,” for sewer works and high­
ways. This analysis is necessary because construction
equipment for highways is included in the contract cost
category “overhead and profit.”
Table 14 also demonstrates that in both highways
and sewer works projects a comparatively large propor­
tion of the cost of materials, supplies, and equipment is
allocated to construction equipment.
A higher percentage of all materials, equipment, and
supplies was expended for stone, clay, glass, and con­
crete products for sewer works than for highways. Of
course, a large proportion, over one-fifth, of sewer
works expenditures for materials was for machinery
and built-in equipment for which there was no equiv­
alent expenditure for highways. A much larger propor­
tion for highways, on the other hand, was spent on
petroleum products (asphaltic tars and pitches, bitu­

The earliest BLS studies of labor and material re­
quirements for sewer works construction were for
1934, 1940, and 1949.1 Differences in scope, sam­
5
pling, classification, and data collection between these
earlier studies and the latest two studies limit the use­
fulness of comparisons.
However, some generalizations seem reasonable. For
1963 and 1971, onsite wages as a percentage of the
total contract costs have declined from the earlier stud­
ies. The percentage of combined overhead and profit
appears to be increasing. The materials, supplies, and
built-in equipment category is decreasing as a percent
of total costs.
Percent distribution of sewer
works construction contract cost
1934 1940 1949 1963 1971

Total costs .............
Onsite wages and salaries ..
Materials, supplies, and
built-in equipment ........
Overhead and profit and
other costs, including
construction equipment .

100 100 100 100 100
26 30 32 25 25
51

50

44

47

41

23

20

24

28

35

Comparison of ali construction labor
requirements studies

Total labor requirements for sewer works were lower
than for all other types of construction studied except
highways. The major disparity between sewer and high­
way construction was in the higher indirect require­
ments for sewer works, indicating the greater amount
of embodied labor in the more expensive, complex
materials and equipment used.
i
1 “Relative Cost of Material and Labor in Construction of Water
5
and Sewage System,” Monthly Labor Review, January 1935 (based
on data collected about 1934), pp. 145-46; “Expenditures for Labor
and Material and Man-Hours of Labor Created per $1 Million of
Contracts Awarded for Sewers and Sewage Systems,” BLS release,
November 1944 (based on data collected about 1940); “Expendi­
tures per Million Dollars for Construction of New Water Supply and
Sewage Disposal Systems,” BLS release, May 1951 (based on data
for 1948-50).

19

highways), and mining and quarrying of nonmetallic
minerals (gravel, stone, clay, etc.).

mens, etc.), fabricated metal products (structural steel
for bridges and steel bars and mesh for reinforcing

Table 11.
1958-73

Employee-hour requirements per 1,000 current dollars of contract cost, by industry, all construction studies,

Manufac­
turing

Wholesale
trade,
transportation,
and services

Mining and
all other

3
1
4

50
49
52

15
16
15

8
9
7

43

7

N.A.

N.A.

114
137
160
178

44
52
80
76

6
10
14
10

37
41
42
64

18
20
16
18

8
14 ,
8
10

1964-65

188

72

9

65

26

15

H 9 6 2 -6 3
11962-63
11962-63

204
204
203 ,

85
86
83

5
5
5

78
76
80

23
23
23

Multifamiiy housing ..
Single-family housing .
College housing .......
General hospitals ....
Public ho using..........

1971
H962
H 960-61
11959-60
11959-60

126
203
226
224
237

50
72
94
89
'114

8
12
11
11
12

43
61
72
76
62

15
31
31
31
29

Civil works:
Land projects....
Dredging ............

i 1959-60
i 1959-60

201
238

85
134

4
10

53
57

35
24

24
14

11959

222

86

10

74

33

■
19

H959

228

97

10

72

31

17

11958

237

97

10

66

39

■ 24

Type
of
construction
Second studies:
Sewer works .............
Lines ...................
P la n ts ..................
Federal office
buildings ................
Federally aided
highw ays................
!
Single-family housing .
Public housing..........
General hospitals ....
Elementary and
secondary schools ..
Initial studies:
Sewer works .............
Lines ...................
P la n ts ..................

Elementary and
secondary schools ..
Federal office
buildings ................
Federally aided
highw ays................

Year of
construc­
tion

Total,
all
industries

Onsite
construc­
tion

1971
1971
1971

124
123
125

48
48
47

1973

N.A.

1973
1969
1968
1965-66

Offsite
construc­
tion

i

■

11ndirect data revised from original study results due to reprocessing
materials through improved input-output tables.

NOTE: Detail may not add to totals because of rounding,

N.A. — Not available.

20

N.A.

13
14
12
•. • i C '
10
26
18
18
r‘ 20

.

Table 12. Percent distribution of onsite employee-hour requirements per 1,000 current dollars of contract cost, by
occupation, all construction studies, 1958-73
Year
of
con­
s tru c ­
tio n

T ype of
c o n s t r u c t io n

A ll
occupa­
tio n s

A d m in is ­
tr a tiv e
and
s u p e r­
v is o ry

O p e r a t­
B r ic k ­
la y e rs

C a rp e n ­
te rs

Ir o n ­

E le c ­
tr ic ia n s

w o rke rs

ing
e n g i­
n e e rs

P la s ­
P a in te r s

te r e r s
and
la th e rs

P lu m b ­
e rs
and
p ip e
fitt e r s

O th e r

O th e r
s k ille d
con­

L a b o rers ,
h e lp e r s ,

s tr u c ­
tio n

and
te n d e r s

tra d e s

occupa­
tio n s
(in c lu d ­
in g
tru c k d riv e r s )

S e c o n d s tu d ie s :
S e w e r w o rk s :
T o t a l ................
L in e s ...............

197 1

1 0 0 .0

1 2 .9

1971

1 0 0 .0

1 3 .5

1 .0
.2

6 .9
1 .2

2 .9
.4

1 .9
.2

2 7 .3

—

P la n ts .............

1971

1 0 0 .0

1 2 .3

1 .9

1 4 .0

5 .7

4 .5

1 1 .5

1 .9

1973

N .A .

N .A .

N .A .

N .A .

N .A .

N .A .

N .A .

N .A .

h i g h w a y s .......
S in g le -f a m ily

1973

1 0 0 .0

5 .9

6.1

1.1

2 .5

2 5 .5

.3

h o u s in g .........

1969

1 0 0 .0

2 .8

5 .7

3 4 .9

3 .0

1 .8

7 .3

1 .7

P u b lic h o u s in g .

1968

1 0 0 .0

3 .6

7 .8

2 0 .3

5 .8

3 .5

3.1

4 .9

3 .0

1 9 6 5 -6 6

1 0 0 .0

3 .2

5 .0

1 3 .0

9 .9

3.1

1 .8

2 .6

1 9 6 4 -6 5

1 0 0 .0

3 .6

9 .2

1 6 .5

7 .3

3.1

2 .7

3 .5

2 0 .4

.8

1 4 .4

3 .3

5 .4

—

3 .0

3 0 .0
3 3 .7

2 0 .6

7 .2

9 .8

25.1

5 .9

N .A .

N .A .

N .A .

N .A .

.2

1 8 .9

3 4 .0

2 1 9 .0

4 .3

2 0 .0

2 7 .9

.5

9 .3

6 .6

3 0 .2

1 .9

6.1

1 5 .6

13.1

2 5 .7

.7

2 .0

9 .6

10.1

3 0 .9

1 .5

—
—

F e d e r a l o ff ic e
b u ild in g s .......

N .A .

F e d e r a lly a id e d

G e n e ra l
h o s p ita ls .......
E le m e n t a r y a n d
s ec o n d a ry
s c h o o ls

.........

In it ia l s tu d ie s :
S e w e r w o rks :
T o t a l ................

1 9 6 2 -6 3

1 0 0 .0

1 1 .2

1 .7

7 .7

1 .5

1 .9

1 7 .4

L in e s

1 9 6 2 -6 3

1 0 0 .0

10.1

1 .3

2 .4

.1

.4

1 9 .6

...............

P la n ts ..............

.7
—

—

1 3 .4

2 .5
.4

2 .7

3 9 .1

2 .7

4 4 .5

1 8 .5

6 .6

3 1 .7

*

8 .0

1 9 6 2 -6 3

1 0 0 .0

9 .0

2 .0

1 4 .3

3 .3

3 .9

1 4 .6

1 .5

—

5.1

197 1

1 0 0 .0

5 .8

5 .0

2 5 .4

5 .9

2 .3

2 .9

4 .0

1 .7

7 .6

1 1 .3

2 5 .8

2 .3

1 2 .2

2 3 .3

.5

7 .8

3 1 .8

1.1

M u lt if a m ily
h o u s in g ..........
S in g le - f a m ily
h o u s in g .........

1962

1 0 0 .0

3 .0

5 .5

3 4 .6

1 9 6 0 -6 1

1 0 0 .0

3 .4

1 0 .0

1 6 .9

1 .4

2 .8
6 .6

9 .5

2 .0

5 .2

1 .7

3 .6

3 .4

9 .7

C o lle g e
h o u s i n g ..........

3 .9

G e n e ra l
h o s p ita ls .......
P u b lic h o u s in g .

1 9 5 9 -6 0

1 0 0 .0

3 .9

5 .4

1 3 .2

8 .8

3 .5

1 .6

2 .8

6 .2

1 4 .2

1 2 .0

2 6 .7

1 9 5 9 -6 0

1 0 0 .0

4 ,0

7 .6

19.1

4.1

2.1

2 .7

4 .4

6 8

7 .8

6 .5

3 0 .9

3.1

2 4.1

6 .9

2 3 .0

1.1

—

—

—

1.7

1 .7

1 .7

•

4 .0

C iv il w o r k s
Land
p r o je c t s ...
D r e d g in g

..

6 .4

1 9 5 9 -6 0

1 0 0 .0

10.1

1 9 5 9 -6 0

100 0

4 .7

—

—

—

—

2 6 .4
3 9 0 .8

E le m e n t a r y a n d
s ec o n d a ry
s c h o o ls

.........

1959

1 0 0 .0

3 .9

9 .3

1 8 .7

7.1

2 .8

1 .9

3 .3

2 .7

9 .4

7 .9

2 9.1

1959

1 0 0 .0

6 .0

5 .2

1 2 .6

9.1

4 .2

2 .4

2 .1

3 .8

8 .7

1 1 .8

3 2 .5

1958

1 0 0 .0

1 0 .4

(4)

(4)

(4)

(4)

(4)

(4)

(4)

(4)

5 3 8 .2

(4)

4 .0

F e d e r a l o ff ic e
b u i l d i n g s .......

(

1 .5

F e d e r a lly a id e d
h i g h w a y s .......

« 5 1 .4

eIncludes apprentices and on-the-job trainees and laborers, helpers,
and tenders.

1 1ncludes

apprentices and on-the-job trainees.
Includes blue-collar supervisors.
3 Includes mostly ships' masters, captains, mates, crewmen, and sup­
port personnel.
4 Detail by occupation not available.
5 Excludes apprentices and on-the-job trainees.
2

N.A. = Not available. Dash denotes no data reported.
NOTE: Detail may not add to 100.0 percent because of rounding.

21

Table 13.

Percent distribution of contract costs, all construction studies, 1953-73

Type
of
construction
Second studies:
Sewer works:
Total ........................
L in e s ........................
Plants ......................
Federal office
buildings 2 ...............
Federally aided
highways ................
Single-family
housings.................
Public ho using..........
General hospitals ....
Elementary and
secondary schools .
Initial studies:
Sewer works:
Total ........................
L in e s ........................
Plants ......................

Year
of
construction

Total
contract
costs

Onsite wages
and
salaries

Materials,
supplies, and
built-in
equipment

Construction
equipment

Overhead
and
profiti

1971
1971
1971

100.0
100.0
100.0

24.7
24.3
25.2

40.7
35.2
47.0

11.5
16.7
5.6

23.1
23.8
22.2

1973

100.0

34.0

50.0

(3)

16.0

1973

100.0

24.6

44.5

(4)

30.9

1969
1968
1965-66

100.0
100.0
100.0

20.4
32.4
29.6

43.4
41.9
50.4

.9
1.5
1.3

35.3
24.2
18.7

1964-65

100.0

25.8

54.2

1.0

19.0

1962-63
1962-63
1962-63

100.0
100.0
100.0

25.3
24.3
26.6

46.6
44.5
49.2

9.9
11.2
8.2

18.2
20.0
16.0

Multifamily housing ..
Single-family
housings.................
College housing .......
General hospitals ....
Public ho using..........

1971

100.0

27.9

44.2

3.0

24.8

1962
1960-61
1959-60
1959-60

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

22.1
29.3
28.2
35.5

47.2
52.6
53.2
45.0

1.0
1.6
1.2
2.5

29.7
16.5
17.4
17.0

Civil works:
Land projects ........
Dredging ................

1959-60
1959-60

100.0
100.0

26.0
32.3

35.0
17.3

19.3
24.9

19.7
25.5

1959

100.0

26.7

54.1

1.4

17.8

1959

100.0

29.0

51.4

1.9

17.7

1958

100.0

23.9

50.6

(4)

25.5

Elementary and
secondary schools .
Federal office
buildings ................
Federally aided
highways ................

t. f ,

Equipment included with overhead and profit.
5 Includes selling expenses.

1 1ncludes offsite wages, fringe benefits, construction financing costs,
inventory, and other overhead and administrative expenses as well as
profit.
2 Estimated.
3 Equipment included in materials.

4

NOTE: Detail may not add to 100.0 percent because of rounding.

22

Table 14.
1958-73

Percent distribution of cost of materials, supplies, and equipment, by product group, all construction studies,

Typ e of con struc tion

Second studies:
Sewer works:
Total ........
Lines ......
P la n ts .....
Federal office
buildings ...
Federally
aided
highways ..
Private
single­
family
housing ...
Public
housing ...
General
hospitals ...
Nursing
homes ....
Elementary
and
secondary
schools ...
Initial studies:
Sewer works:
Total ........
Lines .......
Plants .....
Private
multifamily
housing ...
Private
single­
family
housing ...
College
housing ...
General
hospitals ...
Public
housing ...
Civil works:
Land
projects .
Dredging ...
Elementary
and
secondary
schools ...
Federal office
buildings ...
Federal aided
highways ..

To tal
m aterials,
supplies,
Y e a r of
and
c o n s tru c ­
e q u ip ­
tion
m ent

M in in g
and
qua rrying Lum be r
of no n and
m etallic
w ood
m inerals p rodu cts
e xc ep t
exc e p t
fuel
fu rn itu re

F urniture
and
fixtures

C h e m i­
cals
and
allied
produ cts

P e tro ­
leum
S tone,
refining
clay,
and
glass, and
related
con crete
p rodu cts products

E lectri­
cal
m a c h in ­
e ry ,
M a c h in e ry e q u ip ­
F ab ri­
except
m ent,
Prim ary
cated
and
e le c ­
m etal
m etal
trical
supplies
p ro d u cts pro d u cts !

O ther
C o n s tru c ­ m aterials
tion
and
e q u ip m en t supplies

1971

1 0 0 .0

2 .3 4

1 .9 7

.1 0

1 .0 1

3 .1 5

2 8 .9 7

9 .1 9

7 .6 3

1 8 .1 1

3 .6 9

2 2 .0 7

1971

1 0 0 .0

3 .4 3

1 .5 3

—

1 .1 4

4 .8 2

4 0 .7 7

7 .3 8

2 .2 0

4 .4 8

1 .0 3

3 2 .2 2

1 .0 0

1971

1 0 0 .0

1 .1 1

2 .4 6

.2 2

.8 7

1 .2 5

1 5 .6 2

1 1 .2 2

1 3 .8 7

3 3 .5 1

6 .7 2

1 0 .5 9

2 .5 4

1973

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

1973

1 0 0 .0

1 4 .2 6

1 .6 5

.7 3

1 7 .1 8

1 5 .1 7

1969

1 0 0 .0

.8 9

3 7 .4 0

3 .2 8

1 .8 2

1 .8 0

2 1 .3 3

5 .0 5

1 2 .9 0

1 .9 0

6 .7 7

2 .0 0

4 .8 7

1968

1 0 0 .0

.8 0

1 4 .4 0

.3 0

2 .0 0

2 .2 0

2 4 .7 0

9 .2 0

2 7 .2 0

2 .5 0

1 1 .3 0

3 .5 0

1 .8 0

1 9 6 5 -6 6

1 0 0 .0

.51

4 .6 6

.4 4

.7 7

.8 0

1 8 .4 0

8 .6 1

3 1 .1 1

1 2 .1 1

1 5 .6 2

2 .5 0

4 .4 7

1 9 6 5 -6 6

1 0 0 .0

.5 3

9 .0 6

.2 7

1 .2 4

1 .8 2

2 0 .1 6

6 .2 3

3 3 .3 2

1 1 .0 3

1 0 .7 8

2 .1 5

3 .4 1

1 9 6 4 -6 5

1 0 0 .0

1 .5 5

1 0 .2 0

2 .6 9

.9 6

2 .2 7

2 3 .4 4

5 .5 0

3 2 .2 9

4 .5 0

9 .7 6

.8 2

4 .0 1

1 9 6 2 -6 3

1 0 0 .0

3 .5 6

1 .1 9

.6 4

2 .4 8

3 7 .9 8

1 1 .3 7

7 .3 5

1 1 .7 6

4 .7 5

1 7 .4 6

1 .4 7

1 9 6 2 -6 3

1 0 0 .0

4 .6 5

.7 9

—

.3 6

3 .0 2

5 5 .8 7

8 .7 9

2 .3 9

3 .0 2

.7 4

2 0 .1 9

.2 0

1 9 6 2 -6 3

1 0 0 .0

2 .2 7

1 .6 4

—

.9 8

1 .8 5

1 6 .7 8

1 4 .4 8

1 3 .1 6

2 2 .3 4

9 .5 1

1 4 .2 5

2 .7 5

1971

1 0 0 .0

1 .3 4

1 8 .6 7

2 .2 1

1 .7 4

2 2 .1 2

8 .8 5

1 5 .5 9

3 .7 2

9 .3 6

6 .5 1

6 .0 0

1962

1 0 0 .0

.7 9

4 0 .0 5

2 .2 2

2 .3 0

2 3 .5 8

5 .5 0

1 4 .6 0

.4 6

6 .4 9

2 .0 3

1 .9 9

1 9 6 0 -6 1

1 0 0 .0

.7 8

1 0 .6 7

1 .7 0

1 .1 8

1 .0 5

2 5 .7 8

6 .1 1

3 3 .9 0

2 .9 2

1 1 .3 6

2 .9 4

1 .6 2

1 9 5 9 -6 0

1 0 0 .0

.4 2

4 .1 6

.8 6

.81

.9 7

1 8 .9 8

6 .8 2

3 5 .0 5

8 .4 8

1 5 .6 0

2 .0 6

5 .8 9

1 9 5 9 -6 0

1 0 0 .0

.8 0

1 4 .1 0

.3 0

1 .8 0

1 .7 0

2 7 .1 0

8 .0 0

2 8 .5 0

2 .3 0

8 .4 0

5 .3 0

1 .8 0

1 9 5 9 -6 0

1 0 0 .0

1 7 .4 6

1 2 .6 5

9 .0 9

1 .3 3

1 3 .2 0

.5 9

.2 4

3 5 .3 9

2 .0 5

1 0 0 .0

4 .1 5
—

3 .8 7

1 9 5 9 -6 0

—

3 .9 3

2 8 .0 7

—

—

1 .4 9

1 .4 0

—

5 8 .9 8

6 .1 3

1959

1 0 0 .0

.6 9

9 .6 7

1 .8 8

1 .4 1

2 .0 2

2 4 .2 2

7 .5 2

3 2 .3 4

1 .7 9

1 0 .4 8

2 .5 1

5 .5 0

1959

1 0 0 .0

.41

3 .3 1

.3 4

1 .0 3

.8 8

2 1 .6 0

7 .3 2

3 2 .8 1

6 .9 1

1 8 .2 0

3 .5 9

3 .6 1

1958

1 0 0 .0

1 1 .3 4

1 .7 6

-

.8 0

1 7 .0 9

1 6 .7 7

-

1 9 .4 8

-

—

3 .8 9

1 .7 6

-

N.A.

(2)

2 1 .2 1

N.A.

2 9 .9 8

(2)

3 2 .7 5

N. A. = Not available. Dash denotes no data reported.

1 Fabricated metals include some stone, glass, and concrete products
(vitreous china fixtures) except for single-family and multifamily housing.
2Construction equipment estimate included in "other materials and
supplies."

NOTE: Detail may not add to 100.0 percent because of rounding

23

Appendix A.

Survey Scope and Methods

Universe characteristics and sample selection

data for a selected sample contract could not be col­
lected, an additional sample contract was selected at
random to maintain the size of the sample at the 150unit level.
Initial weights for sample units within a cell were
calculated by using the reciprocal of the probability of
selection. Whenever a unit was encountered which was
out of the scope of the study, it was deleted along with
its weight since the experience of the sample units
within each cell was considered representative of what
would be discovered if all the units in the cell were
surveyed. Nonresponse was compensated for within a
cell by increasing the weights associated with all the
responding units in that cell by a single factor.

The study included all sewer works construction
projects which were subsidized by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) located in
the 48 contiguous States and started during calendar
year 1969 and completed by August 31, 1973. The
development of a sampling frame consisting of over
1,500 units began with 907 projects on lists supplied by
the EPA and HUD. The EPA list consisted of 874
projects. The HUD list consisted of 33 projects. Each
sewer construction project within the scope of the
survey was contained on one of these lists. A project
could consist of several distinct units of construction—
multiple treatment plants, pumping stations, or several
separate stretches of sewer lines.
The lists were stratified by (a) the four broad eco­
nomic regions, (b) type of construction: Sewer lines,
treatment plants, pumping stations, etc., (c) location:
Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA) or
nonmetropolitan areas, and (d) construction contract
cost class. Previous experience indicated that these
variables were also good stratification variables for the
sewer works studies. Therefore, they were used again
as they were available on the sampling frame.
These lists showed a total cost figure for each project
which included the cost of items such as architectural
and engineering fees, land acquisition, clearing, and
landscaping costs. These costs are out of the scope of
this survey, which was intended to develop data for the
onsite labor and materials used to construct these proj­
ects as a ratio of each $ 1,000 of construction contract
value.
Approximately 1,500 general contracts were se­
lected from the above-mentioned lists. These contracts
involved a total of about 3,000 general contractors and
subcontractors. Because of the limited resources avail­
able and experience from similar surveys, the survey
sample size was set at 150 of these general contracts. In
order to maintain the sample size of 150 units it was
necessary to survey 196 sample units.
These 196 sample units were randomly selected from
the stratified universe. Within a stratum each sample
contract was assigned equal probability and a random
sample was selected without replacement. When the

Collection experience

Of the 196 sample contracts for which data were
originally sought, 30 were found to be out of the scope
of the study and 21 could not be studied because the
contractors did not cooperate or could not be located.
Therefore, the final sample for this survey consisted of
the remaining 145 sample units. This was 5 less than
the 150 sample units specified. The reduction in sample
size was not expected to have a significant impact on
the survey results.
If data were missing partially or completely for a
given subcontractor, the subcontractor was asked to
provide an estimate for the missing data. If the subcon­
tractor was not available, an estimate was obtained
from the general contractor.
The sample contracts were divided into two major
groups: (a) Sewer lines and (b) sewage treatment
plants. These major groups were each divided into two
subgroups designated as (a) maximum contract data
(maxi) and (b) minimum contract data (mini). The
data collected for a maxi contract included occupa­
tional detail for onsite employee-hours and a detailed
listing of the value of materials, equipment, and sup­
plies used in construction. The data collected for a mini
contract provided no detail on onsite occupations or
materials, equipment, and supplies. Only the total on­
site employee-hours and the total value of materials,
equipment, and supplies were obtained.
The division of the total sample between the mini
and the maxi projects was determined by an analysis of
24

the probable cost of collecting the data for (a) a maxi
or (b) a mini survey. The results of this cost analysis
determined that the most efficient allocation of avail­
able resources required 100 maxi sample units and 50
mini units. One hundred and forty-four of these sample
units were selected from the list of 874 projects that
was furnished by EPA. The remaining 6 units were
selected from the HUD list of 33 projects.
The tabulation below shows the distribution of the
145 sample units for which all the required data were
collected, with regard to lines and plants, and the num­
ber of maxi and mini contracts in each category.

Pretest and training. Education and orientation were
accomplished in two ways. First, experienced data col­
lectors from three regional offices assembled in Wash­
ington, D.C., to discuss the survey and prepare for the
pretest. The Washington staff explained the purpose of
the complex study and proposed collection schedules.
Informal discussion was conducted to clarify specific
points, and agreement was reached on the data re­
quired to meet the objectives. A pretest was conducted
and all data were forwarded to Washington with a
critique and recommendations for improvements and
modifications to the survey approach. The Washington
staff revised and improved final schedules and field
instructions.
Next, representatives from all eight BLS regional
offices met in Washington, D.C., for a training session.
All facets of the program were explained in detail with
the use of training aids, collection instructions, and
schedules for data collection. Findings of the pretest
survey were presented and potential problems were
discussed. Regional coordinators generally transmitted
this information to data collectors at a regional confer­
ence.
During the survey planning stage, the BLS requested
that EPA and HUD send letters describing the survey
to all EPA and HUD area offices to solicit their coop­
eration when a BLS representative would visit. This
approach assured entree to the area offices with EPA
and HUD endorsements for the survey.
The BLS data collectors had three missions to per­
form when visiting the area offices: (1) Obtain project
payrolls, (2) obtain project characteristics, and (3)
obtain listings of all contractors involved in the project
construction.
The data collectors arranged to have payroll data of
the general contractor and subcontractors forwarded
on loan to the BLS regional office. (Contractors are
required to keep these records for 3 years to comply
with the Davis-Bacon Act.) In some cases, the payrolls
had been placed in a Federal storage depository and
authorization had to be obtained to secure them. In
other cases, copies of the original payrolls were made
and forwarded to the BLS regional offices.
Next, the BLS data collectors obtained the name,
address, contract value, and type of contract for all
general and prime contractors and subcontractors on
the sample contracts. Missing payrolls were identified
so that the contractor could later furnish supplemental
information.

Lines Plants

Total ............... ............
Maxi ......................... ............
Mini .......................... ............

82
54
28

63
40
23

In addition, among the maxi contracts, there were 21
nonrespondents and 19 out of the scope of the survey.
The mini contracts had no nonrespondents but 11 that
were out of scope.
Most of the value-put-in-place for the above-men­
tioned 145 sample units was constructed during calen­
dar years 1970 and 1971. ( Value-put-in-place is a
measure of the value of construction installed or
erected at the site during a given period.)
Error

Except for the nonresponding sample units and the
data estimated by the contractors, there are no known
sources of nonsampling error. Sampling variances are
available at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While the overall estimates of employment are be­
lieved to be reasonably accurate, the detailed data
would have a wider margin of sampling error and may
be subject to other limitations. Employee-hour and
material requirements are affected by a number of
factors such as location, size of project, type of struc­
ture, architectural design, availability of certain materi­
als or equipment, labor skills, and local building codes
and customs. The effects of these separate factors can­
not be isolated.
Data collection procedures

Three major stages were employed to fulfill the ob­
jective of reliable data for each project in the study: (1)
Pretest and training, (2) visits to national and area
offices of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
and the Department of Housing and Urban Develop­
ment (HUD), and (3) visits to project sites and con­
tractors.

Visits to project sites and contractors. After completing
their research at the EPA or HUD area offices, data
collectors often visited the construction sites to be­
come as familiar as possible with the structural charac­
teristics of the projects before visiting the general con­
tractors. If a general contractor should refuse to
25

partment of Commerce. BLS field representatives coh
lected the basic data on materials, supplies, and equipm e n t from e a c h p rim e c o n tr a c to r and his
subcontractors (or estimated in a relatively small num­
ber of cases).
The materials listings thus obtained were categorized
according to the four-digit industry classification of the
Standard Industrial Classification Manual (1967 edi­
tion, Office of Management and Budget). For each
product group, the average amount required for $ 1,000
of construction cost was calculated. This bill of materi­
als was deflated to the 1963 price level by application
of the appropriate wholesale price indexes. The result­
ing deflated value for each group was reduced by the
ratio of producers’ value to purchasers’ value. (This
ratio was based on data provided by BEA.) The differ­
ences between purchaser and producer valuation were
allocated to trade and transportation sectors. The de-?
flated values were matched to the sector coefficients in
the 1963 interindustry study of BEA. For each group of
materials, the interindustry study provided information
on the amount of products required from each of the
367 industry sectors. The product data were converted
to employee-hours by use of output per employee-hour
ratios for each industry. While processing the data, the
Economic Growth Division of BLS adjusted for price
and productivity changes from the base year of the
tables (1963) to the study year. The results were the
average total (indirect) employee-hours per $1,000 of
contract cost required to produce, transport, and sell
the materials used to construct the projects covered by
this survey.
These employee-hours, plus the builders’ offsite em­
ployment, were combined with direct or onsite em­
ployee-hours to determine total employee-hours within
the definition of the study. Offsite employment of each
construction contractor was not obtained directly from
the contractors since it would be difficult to allocate a
portion of total offsite employment to a particular
project. Instead, an estimate for the offsite employeehours was developed by applying to the onsite em­
ployee-hours collected for this study the ratio of con­
struction workers to all employees in the total con­
struction industry for 1971, as reported in Employment
and Earnings, United States, 1909-72 (BLS Bulletin
1312-9).

cooperate, the project would have to be dropped from
the survey and another one substituted. The substitu­
tion of sample projects is time consuming and costly
and, in addition, could bias the survey results. There­
fore, every effort was made to enlist the cooperation of
the general contractor by explaining the nature of the
survey and the reasons for conducting it. Of the ap­
proximately 3,000 general contractors and subcontrac­
tors who were interviwed in order to compile the list of
196 general contracts from which the sample of 145
contracts was derived, only a small number refused to
cooperate or could not be located.
If the contractors agreed to cooperate, they were
asked to verify the final contract value, including
change orders, and the list of subcontractors and their
current addresses. Additional payroll data were ob­
tained for onsite workers who were not covered by the
Davis-Bacon Act, such as the superintendent, technical
personnel, and guards. Finally, the data collectors re­
corded the type of material item, the purchase cost,
and the name and fair rental value or equivalent of any
equipment used on the job. Each of the subcontractors
also was contacted to obtain similar data.
After all the data for a sample project were collected,
they were checked for completeness and internal con­
sistency by the regional offices and forwarded to Wash­
ington, D.C., for final analysis, editing, and coding for
computer processing.
Data collected for the sewer works construction sur­
vey were very complex and required experienced per­
sonnel for processing.

Development of employee-hour estimates

Onsite and offsite employee-hour estimates were
combined to obtain estimates of total employee-hour
requirements for sewer works construction.
Onsite (direct) employee-hours, as explained in the
previous section, were obtained from payrolls submit­
ted by the contractors to the EPA and HUD. Offsite
(indirect) employee-hour requirements, representing
the hours to produce, transport, and sell the mater ials,
supplies, and equipment used in construction were
developed by use of the 1963 Interindustry Study of the
Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the U.S. De­

26

Appendix B

Forms Used for Data Collection

BLS 2651.02A

Office of Management and
Budget No. 44-R 1381
Approval expires: 12-31-73

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Washington, D.C. 20212

GENERAL INFORMATION

SURVEY OF
CONSTRUCTION LABOR REQUIREMENTS
FOR
SEWERS AND SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS

The Bureau of Labor Statistics
will hold all information furn­
ished by the respondent in
strict confidence.

Name of Local Government Sponsoring Agency
EPA or HUD Project Number ________________

OFFICE
USE
ONLY

Survey
Ident
0

Schedule
Number

Sample

Weight

Region

SMSA

|2
1

1

1

.1
27

1

..1... 1 . .
..

I.

TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION
When you are reporting more than one type of construction, code for the type
which represents the largest dollar value.
Sewer lines include lift stations (sometimes called pumping stations) asso­
ciated with the sewer lines. Lift stations push sewage up inclines or raise
sewage to a level high enough to allow it to flow by gravity thru the lines.
Consider "outfall" sewer lines, i.e., lines which carry treated sewage from
a treatment plant, as part of a treatment plant. Do not include construction
which is primarily for outfall sewers in this "sewer lines" section.
A new treatment plant is an entirely new facility.
or a more sophisticated facility.

It may be a simple pond

An addition to an existing plant is an addition of equipment, or equipment
and building, or pond or outfall sewer, to an existing facility. Construc­
tion of building(s) only with no equipment, or outfall sewer or pond, is
out-of-scope.
NOTE:

If construction provides secondary treatment capability to an
existing primary treatment facility, use code "2". Under these
conditions the "type of construction" is considered new treat­
ment plant construction.

A pumping station related to a treatment plant is a station housing relatively
large pumps. The function of a pumping station is to push all or any portion
of incoming waste liquid thru and from a treatment plant. (Stations that
push waste liquids _to a treatment plant are to be classified as sewer line
lift stations.)
II.

VALUE OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT(S)
The value you report here will, when added to values reported in all other
"A" forms submitted for the "assignment", add to the total value of the
assignment. Thus, report the combined value of any general or prime con­
struction contracts related to the construction activity represented by this
"A" form.

Ill.

CONSTRUCTION DATES
For the construction being reported, enter the beginning and ending dates
of on-site activity and the total number' of elapsed weeks from beginning to
ending dates.

28

ALWAYS COMPLETE SECTIONS I, II, III, VIII, IX AND X

I,

TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION
Is the construction represented by this "A"
form primarily? ..........................
Code
1 2 3 4 -

II.

Sewer line and/or lift station [go to IV)
New treatment plant [go to l
/
)
Addition to existing treatment plant [go to
Pumping station related to treatment plant

VI)
[go to VII)

VALUE OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT
What is the total dollar value of the general and/or
prime contract(s) related to this construction? ....

III.

CONSTRUCTION DATES
Beginning (mo./day/yr.) ............................
Ending (mo./day/yr.) ........... ...................
Total number of construction weeks
(including down time) .............................

Complete Section IV Only if the Type of Construction is
primarily SEWER LINE and/or LIFT STATION

IV.

SEWER LINE CHARACTERISTICS
a.

Construction is for—

.............

Code
1 - Sewer line only
2 - Lift station only
3 - Sewer line and other (specify)

I& code 2 Aktp to IVk.
,

29

IV.

SEWER LINE CHARACTERISTICS

g.

If the entire sewer line is above ground, enter "0" for both the
minimum and maximum depth.
If the sewer line is partly above and partly below ground, enter
"0" for the minimum depth.

h.

Report the maximum amount of sewage that the installed pipe can
handle in one day.

30

SEWER LINE CHARACTERISTICS— Continued
b.

What was the principal type of pipe?
Code
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -

Asbestos cement
Concrete
Cast iron
Vitreous clay
Reinforced fiberglass or plastic
Steel (except corrugated steel)
Corrugated sheet metal
Other (specify) ________________

How many linear feet of pipe were laid for
this sewer line(s)? ........................

d.

What is the size (diameter in inches) of the
predominant pipe used? .....................

in. 9

e.

Is the pipe primarily underground or
aboveground? ...............................

0
0

c.

H
i
r
+

IV.

10

Code
1 - Underground
2 - Aboveground
f .

What was the principal method of laying pipe?

11

Code
1 - Trenching
2 - Tunneling
3 - Other (specify)
g.

What is the minimum and maximum depth of the trench
or tunnel in feet? (Round to nearest foot) .
Minimum depth ................................
Maximum depth ................................

h.

i.

12
13

What is the peak flow rate (gallons 1 day)
of the sewer line (or lift station)? ....
(If a lift station) is a majority of equipment
installed for the lift station "packaged"? ...

GO TO VIII WHEN COMPLETED WITH IV

31

sa l-

14

58

V.

CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW TREATMENT PLANTS
a.

The inflow for a primary treatment plant is the raw sewage from sewer
lines. ’Primary treatment” removes solid wastes from sewer water.
’
The inflow for a secondary treatment plant is the sewer water discharged
from a primary trea trnent facility. Secondary treatment removes organic
matter suspended in sewage which has already been given primary treatment.
Waste stabilization ponds are shallow ponds which hold raw sewage and
where micro-organisms in the atmosphere partially decompose the raw
sewage.
NOTE:

b.

New plants often are designed to provide both primary and
secondary treatment. Such plants are to be coded "secondary
treatment plant", code 2.

Answer this question only if IV. a. is coded "2".
In the activated sludge type of treatment waste liquid, air and sludge
loaded with bacteria are mixed in an aeration tank. Bacteria decom­
pose suspended organic matter and the sludge is then settled out of
the liquid.
In the trickling filter type of treatment waste liquid is trickled
over a bed of rocks. Bacteria on the surface of the rocks cause the
organic matter in the waste liquid to decompose.

c.

"Packaged" sewage treatment equipment usually consists of a large pre­
fabricated tank unit which provides all the treatment processes desired
by the purchaser. It also contains all wiring, metering, and input/
output piping necessary to make a complete, integrated unit.

d.

Incinerators are devices used to burn sludge.
tbat remains is a non-burnable ash.

After incineration, all

Drying beds are open areas where sludge is spread-out, exposed to the
air, and dehydrated.
,
Outfall lines are large pipe lines which carry treated waste liquid
from a treatment facility to a point of final discharge or disposal
(stream, lake, etc.).
Removal equipment is any kind of new, heavy equipment (e.g., bull­
dozer, loader, conveyor system, dump truck) which is used in the treat­
ment plant’s disposal system.
e.

The BOD removal rating is a measure of the effectiveness of a sewage
treatment plant.
A BOD removal rating of 85% means that the treatment process will re­
move approximately 85% of the suspended organic matter in the waste
liquid treated.
i
Secondary treatment plants ordinarily have BOD removal rating of
85-95%.

f.

Report the maximum number of gallons of waste liquid the plant can
handle in one day.

g.

Population design is a measure of a plant's capacity. It is ex­
pressed in terms of numbers of people the plant is designed to serve.
When a treatment plant processes a combination of residential and
industrial/commercial generated sewage, the industrial/comniercial
volume should be converted to a population equivalancy for reporting
purposes.

32

Complete Section V Only if the Type of Construction is
primarily a NEW TREATMENT PLANT

V.

CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW TREATMENT PLANTS
a.

Is construction primarily for a—
Code
1 2 3 4 -

b.

.

Primary treatment plant
Secondary treatment plant
Waste stabilization pond
Other (specify) _____________

16

(If a secondary treatment plant) is it—
Code
1 - Activated sludge type
2 - Trickling filter type
3 - Other (specify) __________________

c.

Is a majority of the equipment installed for
this facility "packaged"? .................
Code
1 - Yes
2 - No

d.

Does the construction contract(s) provide for
any of the following types of sewage disposal?
(Enter "1" if "yes")
Incinerators ............................
Drying beds .............................

21

Other (specify) __________________________

g.

20

Removal equipment .............. ........

f.

19

Outfall lines ...........................

e.

18

22

What is the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
removal rating (percentage) of this facility?

% 23

What is the capacity flow rate (gallon 1 day)
of this facility? ..........................

________ gal. 24

What is the maximum population design of
this facility? ................................................... .................... j .

...

GO TO VIII WHEN COMPLETED WITH V

33

’

25

VI.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ADDITIONS TO PLANTS

b.

Leave blank if VI. a. is coded "2".

c.

"Equipment" covers the entire range of products usually associated
with waste treatment including tanks, filters, drums, pumps, aera­
tors, incinerators, etc. Equipment may be located inside buildings
or in open areas.

34

Complete Section VI Only if the Type of Construction is
primarily an ADDITION TO AN EXISTING PLANT

VI.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ADDITIONS TO PLANTS
a.

Does this construction involve a—
Code
1 2 3 4 -

b.

26

Primary treatment capability
Secondary treatment capability
Waste stabilization pond
Other (specify) _______________________

(If a secondary treatment capability) is it—

27

Code
1 - Activated sludge type
2 - Trickling filter type
3 - Other (specify) _______________________

Does this construction primarily involve
Code
1 2 3 4 5 d.

An addition of building(s) only
An addition of building(s) and equipment
An addition of equipment only
An addition to pond(s)
Other (specify) ________________________

Is a majority of equipment installed for
this facility "packaged"? ...................
Code
1 - Yes
2 - No

e.

Does the construction contract(s) provide for any of
the following types of sewage disposal? (Enter "1"
if "yes".)
Incinerators ..................................

30

Drying beds ...................................

31

Outfall lines .................................

32

Removal equipment .............................

33

Other (specify) ...............................

34

35

VI.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ADDITIONS TO PLANTS— Continued

g.

Enter the increase in the BOD removal rating which resulted from the
addition represented by this "A" form.
If the BOD removal rating did not change, enter "0".

VII.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PUMPING STATIONS (RELATED TO TREATMENT PLANTS)
a.

Packaged pumping stations are prefabricated units in which all
necessary equipment is installed and connected prior to delivery
to the construction site. The "package" includes pumps, motors,
valves, piping, controls, wiring, etc. It is a complete, inte­
grated unit ready to be connected to treatment plant pipes.

b.

Report the maximum amount of sewage this pumping station can handle
in one day.

36

VI.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ADDITIONS TO PLANTS— Continued
f.

g.

h.

i.

What was the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
removal rating (percentage) of the entire
facility prior to this addition? .............

% 35

What was the increase of the BOD removal rating
(percentage) as a result of this addition? ....

% 36

What is the capacity flow rate (gallon 1 day)
of the equipment installed for this facility? .

7
__. _____ gal. 3
_

What is the maximum population design of
this facility? ...............................

38

GO TO VIII WHEN COMPLETED WITH VI

Complete Section VII Only if the Type of Construction is primarily
for PUMPING STATIONS (RELATED TO TREATMENT PLANTS)

VII.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PUMPING STATIONS
a.

Is this primarily a "packaged”
pumping station(s)?...........
Code
1 - Yes
2 - No

b.

c.

What is the capacity flow rate (gallons 1 day)
of this station? ............................

gal. 40

What is the maximum population design
of the pumping station?......................

41

GO TO VIII WHEN COMPLETED WITH VII
VIII.

BUILDINGS AND ADDITIONS TO BUILDINGS
a.

Did the construction activity represented by this
"A" form include work on buildings? ............
Code
1 - Yes
2 - No

"no," 6 kip to Section I .
X

37

VIII.

BUILDINGS AND ADDITIONS TO BUILDINGS— Continued
b.

Did the building construction involve a new building
or an addition to an existing building? ...........
Code
1 - New building
2 - Addition to existing building
3 - Both

c.

Did work include construction of
"office" space? ...................................

60

Code
1 - Yes
2 - No
d.

What was the principal building material used
in construction of each of the following:
Foundation walls ..................................
Code
1 2 3 4 -

Vertically poured concrete
Concrete block
Other (specify) ______________________________
No foundation wall

Frame .............................................
Code
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 -

Structured steel
Concrete block
Precast concrete
Cast-in-place concrete
Wood
Other (specify) ______________________________
No frame

Exterior wall ......................................
Code
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 -

44

Metal siding
Concrete block
Precast concrete
Cast-in-place concrete
Curtain wall
Brick
Wood
Other (specify) ______________________________
No exterior wall

38

45

VIII.

BUILDINGS AND ADDITIONS TO BUILDINGS— Continued

Roof base ............................
Code
1 2 3 4 5 -

46

Concrete
Sheet metal
Wood
Other (specify) _________________
No roof base

Roof cover ...........................
Code
1 2 3 4 5 6 e.

What type of building heating
was installed? .......................
Code
1 2 3 4 -

f.

Built-up
Sheet metal
Asphalt shingle
Wood shingle
Other (specify) _________________
No roof cover

Forced air
Hot water
Other (specify) _________________
No heating

Was central air conditioning installed?

49

Code
1 - Yes
2 - No
g.

Were elevators installed? ............
Code
1 - Yes
2 - No
GO TO IX AND X

39

50

IX.

WORK STOPPAGES AND SLOWDOWNS
a.

Sum up the number of days during the construction period when all
on-site work was completely stopped because of strikes, bad weather,
etc. Convert this to an equivalent number of work weeks and round
to a whole number.
If there were no stoppages enter "0".

b.

X.

If anything happened during construction which required major re­
design of the project, or which greatly prolonged the construction
time, or which greatly increased the cost of construction, code
"yes" and explain the circumstances. This question should reflect
any such occurances which could not be reported in question IX. a.

NUMBER OF CONTRACTS
a.

b.

XI.

If this information cannot be accurately completed at the initial
interview, it should be completed later by the agent after all
contractors have been scheduled.
Enter "0" for Sample 2 assignments.

TOTAL ON-SITE MAN-HOURS
Do not complete this section for Sample 1 assignments.
Line 996 - This line is reserved for "office use only".
this line blank.

Leave

Line 997 - This is an aggregate of all hours which ordinarily
would be reported in contractor "B" forms.
Line 998 - This line is reserved for "office use only".
this line blank.

40

Leave

IX.. WORK STOPPAGES AND SLOWDOWNS
a.

Were there any complete work stoppages during the
construction of this project (due to material
shortages, strikes, disruptive weather, etc.)?
Enter the total number of weeks lost due to such
stoppages. (Round to whole numbers.) ..........

51

Please explain any complete stoppages:

b.

Where there any unanticipated events or circum-

b.

How many B schedules are attached
for this project? ..............

Complete Section XI only for SAMPLE 2 Assignments

XI.

TOTAL ON-SITE MAN-HOURS
From EPA or HUD payrolls

996

Other .................

997

TOTAL ................. 1

998

41

Office of Management and
Budget No. 44-R 1381
Approval expires: 12-31-73

BLS 2652.02B

Contract No.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Washington, D.C. 20212

CONTRACT INFORMATION

SURVEY OF
CONSTRUCTION LABOR REQUIREMENTS
FOR
SEWERS AND SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS

The Bureau of Labor Statistics
will hold all information furn­
ished by the respondent in
strict confidence.

Name of Local Government Sponsoring Agency
EPA or HUD Project No. _____ _____________

42

I.

CONTRACTOR IDENTIFICATION
a . Name ___________
Address ________
Telephone number
b.

Record of personal visits:

Date of visit

c.

Official contacted

Contract codes:
Schedule
No.

From the
"A" form

II.

Field representative

Contract
No.

Superior
Contract No.
From the
"C" form

Leave blank if this
schedule is for a
general or prime
contractor.

CONTRACT AMOUNT
What was the final contract amount, including all change
orders? (Exclude land costs and exclude adjustments for
performance clauses. Round to whole dollars.) ........

III.

SUBORDINATE CONTRACTS (Except by General Contractors)
List below the identification of any subordinate contractors who per­
formed any operations for this contract? Also provide the contract
operations code, the contract value, and the contract number assigned
(form the MC" form).
Name, address, and telephone number
of subordinate contractor(s)

Value
of
contract

Contract
operation
code
$
$
$
$

43

Contract
number
assigned

IV.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK PERFORMED BY THIS CONTRACTOR
a.

In the space below, describe the work performed and the important
kinds of heavy equipment, materials, and labor supplied under this
contract.
(Exclude work which the contractor has sub or sub-sub­
contracted .
)
Example:

b.

"Dug trench for sewer line. Used backhoe, bull­
dozer and heavy truck. Important occupations
included operating engineer, truckdriver, and
laborer."

Major operations code

REMARKS

44

V.

CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT— RENTAL COST
a.

On this page, report the rental cost (or the rental cost equivalent
if the contractor owns the equipment) for the time the equipment is
used on-site. This category will include all heavy equipment and
any non-heavy equipment that is actually rented. Do not include
operator’s wages.

Equipment
code

Description of equipment

Rental cost
(whole dollars)
$

100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118

b.

Total on-site rental costs (exclude equipment
operator’s wages)...........................

45

V.

CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT— RENTAL COST— Continued

Equipment
code

Description of equipment

Rental cost
(whole dollars)
$

119
120
121
122

1
123
124
j

125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133

'
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142

46

VI.

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
a.

What was the total cost of all materials
and supplies used during construction? .

b.

What materials and supplies were used during construction and
what was "delivered on-site" cost of each?

Name and description
of materials and supplies

Materials
code

Cost
(whole dollars)

599

Percent of
sales tax to
be added
200

$

201
202
203
204
205
206
207
208
209
j 210

| 211
i .

212
213
214
215
216
217
218
219

47

VI.

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES— Continued

Name and description
of materials and supplies

Materials
code

Cost
(whole dollars)

Percent of
sales tax to
be added
220

$

221
222
223
224
225
•

• ■
i

. .

:
•

| 226

.
.

>

|227
| ___
_
228
229

- -

!230 !
:
|
_

________________ ii__________

:231
!232 !
i
j
i
;
I233 1
|
!
!234 j
1
1
|
!235
r

236
237
238
!

239
.

240
241
242

48

VII.

LABOR REQUIREMENTS
a.

Did this contractor have a labor agreement
covering any of the work performed on this contract?
Code
1 - Yes
2 - No

b.

What were the total wages paid for on-site
labor for this contract? (Exclude profit
and overhead, and exclude any supplemental
benefits.) ..............................

c.

Are EPA or HUD payrolls being submitted for
this contract? ...........................

005

Code
1 - Yes
2 - No
d.

Complete the following for any on-site labor not already reflected
on the payrolls filed with the local authority, (e.g., missing
payrolls, hours and earnings of exempt employees who performed on­
site work but who are not subject to EPA or HUD reporting requirements).

Occupation
code

Hours

Earnings re­
lated to hours
600

$

601
602
603
604
605
606
•

607
608
609
.

610
_____________

49

VII.

LABOR REQUIREMENTS— Continued

Occupation
code

Earnings re­
lated to hours

Hours

$

611
612
613
614
615
616
617
618

i

i

619

1
1

620
621
622
623
624
625
626
627
628
629
630
631
632
633
634

Total earnings ........

50

999

WORK AREA

VIII.

CONTRACT RECONCILIATION
$

Total on-site costs (approx.) ......................

'Total contract amount (From line 001) .................
Total on-site costs (From line Oil) ...................

009
010

$

011

012

-

Total labor cost from attached payrolls (approx.) .....

+

$.

Total labor cost from this B form (approx.) (From line 999)

008

+

Total material cost (approx.) (From line 599) .........

007

+

Total equipment cost (approx.) (From line 199) ........

006

+

Total value of subcontracts let by this contractor ....

013

$

014

i

Approximate total profit and overhead ........ ....

% profit and overhead = Approx, total profit and overhead =
Total contract amount

IX.

SCHEDULE STATUS
a.

Is this a complete B form for this contract?
Code
1 - Yes
2 - No

b.

If "no," please explain:

52

015

Appendix C.

Bibliography

Construction Labor Requirements Studies by the BLS
Office of Productivity and Technology
Civil works construction

Labor and Material Requirements for Construction o f
Federally-Aided Highways, 1958, 1961, and 1964

Labor and Material Requirements fo r Civil Works Con­
struction by the Corps of Engineers (BLS Bulletin

(BLS Report 299, 1966), 17 pp.
Study providing measures for 1958, 1961, and 1964
of the labor and material requirements for federally
aided highways, with separate measures of the require­
ments for onsite and offsite construction. For onsite
construction, the study also provides a comparison of
annual labor requirements for 1947-64.

1390), 1964, 28 pp.
A statistical study of onsite and offsite employeehour and wage requirements for dredging and land
projects in the U.S. Corps of Engineers’ civil works
program from 1959 to 1960.

Kutscher, Ronald E., and Waite, Charles A., “ Labor
Requirements for Highway Construction,” Monthly
Labor Review, August 1961, pp. 858-61.
Summary of findings of the 1958 highway survey.

College housing construction
Labor and Material Requirements fo r College Housing
Construction (BLS Bulletin 1441), 1965, 34 pp.

Wakefield, Joseph C., “ Labor and Material Require­
ments: Highway Construction, 1958 and 1961,”
Monthly Labor Review, April 1963, pp. 394-98.
A summary comparison of the 1958 and 1961 high­
way surveys.

A survey of 43 college housing projects which were
administered by the Community Facilities Administra­
tion. The survey is designed primarily to determine the
employee-hours required per $ 1,000 of college housing
construction.

Federal office building construction

Miller, Stanley F., “ Labor and Material Required for
College Housing,” Monthly Labor Review, Septem­
ber 1965, pp. 1100-1104.
A summary of BLS Bulletin 1441.

Olsen, John G., “ Decline Noted in Hours Required to
Erect Federal Office Buildings,” Monthly Labor Re­
view, October 1976, pp. 18-22.
A statistical study of 26 new office building projects
completed in 1973 under the jurisdiction of the Gen­
eral Services Administration. In addition to data on
labor requirements, the study provides information on
building characteristics and contract operations.

Federally aided highways

Fingers, Diane S., “ Labor Requirements for Federal
Highway Construction,” Monthly Labor Review, De­
cember 1975, pp. 31-36.
A study of labor and material requirements for feder­
ally aided highway projects completed during 1973.
The study examines the trends between 1958 and 1973.

Labor Requirements for Federal Office Building Con­
struction (BLS Bulletin 1331), 1962, 43 pp.

A statistical study of onsite and offsite labor require­
ments for 22 Federal office building projects in various
localities of the United States over a 3-year period from
the fall of 1957 to 1960.

Ball, Robert, “Labor and Materials Required for High­
way Construction,” Monthly Labor Review, June
1973, pp. 40-45.
Discussion of labor and material trends in highway
construction between 1958 and 1970.

Murray, Roland V., “ Labor Requirements for Federal
Office Building Construction,” Monthly Labor Re­
view, August 1962, pp. 889-93. A summary of BLS
Bulletin 1331.
53

from a sample of one-family houses built in 1962 in
various localities of the United States.

Hospital construction
Labor Requirements fo r Hospital Construction (BLS

Bulletin 1340), 1962, 46 pp.
A statistical study of onsite and offsite labor require­
ments for construction of selected public and private,
profit and nonprofit, general hospitals in various local­
ities of the United States between mid-195 8 and mid1959.

Rothberg, Herman J., “ Labor and Material Require­
ments for One-Family Houses,” Monthly Labor Re­
view, July 1964, pp. 797-800.
A summary of BLS Bulletin 1404.
Labor and Material Requirements for Construction o f
Private Single-Family Houses (BLS Bulletin 1755),

Rothberg, Herman J., “ Labor Requirements for Hospi­
tal Construction, 1959-60,” Monthly Labor Review,
October 1962, pp. 1120-24.
A summary of BLS Bulletin 1340.

1972, 30 pp.
A study of labor and material requirements for con­
struction of single-family housing in 1969.

Labor and Material Requirements fo r Hospital and Nurs­
ing Home Construction (BLS Bulletin 1691), 1971,

Ball, Robert and Ludwig, Larry, “ Labor Requirements
for Construction of Single-Family Houses,” Monthly
Labor Review, September 1971, pp. 12-14.
Summary of BLS Bulletin 1755, a study of labor and
material requirements for single-family housing con­
struction 1969.

50 pp.
A study similar to the one done in 1962 but with data
shown per square foot as well as per $1,000 of con­
struction contract cost. Covers hospitals and nursing
homes constructed in 1965-66.
Riche, Martha Farnsworth, “ Man-hour Requirements
Decline in Hospital Construction,” Monthly Labor
Review, November 1970, p. 48.
Summary of BLS Bulletin 1691.

Public housing construction
■ V

Labor and Material Requirements for Public Housing
Construction (BLS Bulletin 1402), May 1964, 42 pp.

A report based on findings of a survey of 31 public
housing projects which the Public Housing Administra­
tion administered. Projects were selected in various
States to represent four broad geographic regions of
the conterminous United States.

Private multifamily housing construction
Labor and Material Requirements for Private Multifam­
ily Housing Construction (BLS Bulletin 1892), 1976,

69 pp.
Discusses labor and material requirements for the
construction of private multifamily housing projects.
Data were obtained from a survey based on a probabil­
ity sample representing all privately owned structures
of five units or more located in metropolitan areas
where building permits were issued during 1969 for
500 units or more of this type. The survey covered 89
projects in 22 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
Most of the construction took place in 1971.

Labor and Material Requirements for Public Housing
Construction, 1968 (BLS Bulletin 1821), 1974, 20

pp.
A study based on findings of a survey of 48 public
housing projects sponsored by the Housing Assistance
Administration of the Department of Housing and Ur­
ban Development.
i

Finn, Joseph T., “ Labor Requirements for Public
Housing,” Monthly Labor Review, April 1972, pp.
40-42.
Summary of a study of labor requirements for public
housing construction in 1968.

Ball, Robert, “Labor and Material Requirements for
Apartment Construction,” Monthly Labor Review,
January 1975, pp. 70-73.
Summarizes the first construction labor require­
ments study of private multifamily housing construc­
tion.

School construction

Private single-family housing construction
Labor Requirements for School Construction (BLS Bul­

letin 1299), 1961, 50 pp.
A study of primary and secondary employee-hours
required per $ 1,000 of new school construction based
on contracts awarded for 85 elementary and 43 junior
and senior high schools throughout the United States.

Labor and Material Requirements for Private One-Fam­
ily House Construction (BLS Bulletin 1404), 1964,

37 pp.
A statistical study of onsite and offsite labor require­
ments for constructing single-family houses developed
54

Epstein, Joseph, and Walker, James F., “ Labor Re­
quirements for School Construction,” Monthly La­
bor Review, July 1961, pp. 724-30.
A summary of BLS Bulletin 1299.

Sewer works construction

Ball, Robert and Finn, Joseph T., “ Labor and Material
Requirements for Sewer Works Construction,”
Monthly Labor Review, November 1976, pp. 38-41.
Summarizes the 1971 study of sewer works construc­
tion which updates a study done in 1962-63. Provides
data on labor and material requirements for construc­
tion of sewer lines and plants for the United States.
Additional national data and also regional data appear
in the present study, Bulletin 2003.

Labor and Material Requirements fo r School Construc­
tion (BLS Bulletin 1586), June 1968 23 pp.

A survey of selected elementary and secondary pub­
lic schools constructed primarily during 1964-65. In
addition to providing information on labor require­
ments, the study also includes data on the types and
values of materials used, wages paid, occupations, and
use of apprentices.

Labor and Material Requirements fo r Sewer Works Con­
struction (BLS Bulletin 1490), 1966, 31 pp.

Finn, Joseph T., “ Labor Requirements for School Con­
struction,” Monthly Labor Review, August 1968, pp.
40-43.
A summary of BLS Bulletin 1586.

Study designed to measure employee-hours required
for each $1,000 of new sewer facilities construction
contract. The basis for this study was 138 contracts for
new sewer works in years 1962-63.

Other Reports, Articles, and Summaries
Ball, Claiborne M., “ Employment Effects of Construc­
tion Expenditures,” Monthly Labor Review, Febru­
ary 1965, pp. 154-58.
A summary of labor requirements for eight types of
construction broken down by offsite and onsite hours,
by occupation, and by region.

struction,” Paper presented before the Conference
on the Measurement of Productivity in the Construc­
tion Industry, sponsored by the National Commission
on Productivity and the Construction Industry Col­
lective Bargaining Commission, September 14, 1972,
Washington, D.C.
Discussion of the BLS program of labor and material
requirements and analysis of the potential of using data
from the program to measure productivity by type of
construction.

Finn, Joseph T., “Material Requirements for Private
Multifamily Housing,” Construction Review, April
1976, pp. 4-10.
This article summarizes the results of the survey of
labor and building materials requirements for private
multifamily housing (BLS Bulletin 1892) with refer­
ence to the value of the materials, supplies, and equip­
ment used in this type of construction. A detailed list­
ing of the cost of these materials, supplies, and
equipment per $ 1,000 of construction contract cost
and per 100 square feet is included. In addition, com­
parisons are made between the results of this study and
the Public Housing (BLS Bulletin 1821) and Private
One-Family Housing (BLS Bulletin 1755) studies.

Weinberg, Edgar, Mechanization and Automation o f
Building Site Work, National Response Paper for the
Economic Commission for Europe, Committee on
Housing, Building, and Planning, Third Seminar on
the Building Industry, Moscow, October 1970.
Discussion of current technology and labor require­
ments at the construction site.
Weinberg, Edgar, “ Reducing Skill Shortages in Con­
struction,” Monthly Labor Review, February 1969,
pp. 3-9.
Discussion of methods for reducing occupational
shortages.

Ball, Robert, “The Contract Construction Industry,”
Technological Trends in Major American Industries
(BLS Bulletin 1474), 1966, pp. 32-38.
Discusses economic trends in the industry with em­
phasis on the impact of technological change on em­
ployment, occupations, job skills, and productivity.

Ziegler, Martin, “ BLS Construction Labor Require­
ments Program,” Paper presented before the North
American Conference on Labor Statistics, San Juan,
Puerto Rico, June 1971.
Construction labor requirements program and objec­
tives are discussed.

“Construction Labor Requirements,” reprint of Chap­
ter 33 of BLS Handbook of Methods (BLS Bulletin
1910), 1976.
Description of techniques of construction labor re­
quirements studies.

The results of recent surveys of labor and materials
requirements for (a) civil works construction, (b)
college housing construction, and (c) school con­
struction will be published in the near future.

Mark, Jerome A., and Ziegler, Martin, “ Measuring
Labor Requirements for Different Types of Con­
55

OU.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1979

281 - 412/144

1-3

DIGEST OF SELECTED
PENSION PLAN S 1976-78
Keep Informed About... Pension plan provisions affecting • Participation • Retirement benefits, Normal, Early,
Special early, Disability • Vesting • Survivor benefits • Reciprocity (allows transfer of credits between plans).

Digest of Selected
Pension Plans
1976-78 Edition

A New Edition
This digest gives the latest facts about pension
provisions under collective bargaining and pension
plans for salaried employees, and should be of
interest to personnel directors and managers,
contract negotiators, pension trustees and
administrators, and benefit plan consultants and
analysts.
The 363 page volume provides up-to-date
information on the benefits, vesting, and financial
provisions of 150 private pension plans. The new
edition includes many new industries and indicates
for the first time which plans have reciprocity
agreements and whether employees also are covered
by a deferred profit-sharing plan. Subscribers to the
1976-78 edition will receive the basic volume and
three supplements providing information on
subsequent plan amendments through 1979.

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Bureau of Labor Statistics
Regional Offices

1 6 0 3
J F K
G o v e r n m e
B o s t o n .
M
P h o n e :
( 6 1

Regions VII and VIII*

Region IV

Region I

S t r e e t
F e d e r a l
B u i l d1 i3 n 7 g 1
P e a c h t r e e
S t r e e t , 9 1N 1 E . W a l n u t
K a n s a s
C i t y ,
M o .
6 4
n t
C e n t e r
A t l a n t a ,
G a .
3 0 3 0 9
( 8 1 6 )
3 7 4 - 2
P h o n e :
( 4 0 4 )
8 8 1 - 4 4 1 8 P h o n e :
a s s .
0 2 2 0 3
7 )
2 2 3 - 6 7 6 1
Regions IX and X**

Region V
Region II

S u i t :
3 4 0 0
1 5 1 5
B r o a d w
N e w
Y o r k ,
N
P h o n e :
( 2 1 2 )

a y
Y
3 9

Region III

3 5 3 5
M a r k e t
S
P . O .
B o x
1 3 3 0
P h i l a d e l p h i a ,
P
P h o n e :
( 2 1 5 )
5

1
9

0 0 3 6
- 5 4 0

9 t
F e
2 3
C h
5 P h

h
d
0
i
o

F l o o r
e r a l
O
S .
D e
c a g o ,
n e :
( 3

f f i c e
B u
a r b o r n
III
6 0 6 0
1 2 )
3 5 3 -

4 5 0
G o l d
3 6 0 1
i l d i n g B o x
F r a n
S t r e e tS a n
P h o n e :
( 4
4
1 8 8 0

e n
G a t e
A
7
c i s c o ,
C a l i
1 5 )
5 5 6 - 4

Region VI

S e c o n d
F l o o r
t r e e t
9
5 5 5
G r i f f i n
S q u a r e
T e x .
7 5 2 0 2
a .
1 9 1 0 1 D a l l a s ,
( 2 1 4 ) 7 4 9 - 3
9 6 - 1 1 5 4 P h o n e :

* R e g i
B u i lbd y i n Kg a
" R e g i
S a
5 1 6 b y

o n s
V I I a n d
n s a s
C i t y

V I I I

o n s
I X a n d
X
n
F r a n c i s c o

a


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102