How to Use the DOL’s Prevailing Wage Library

HIGHLIGHTS
  • A prevailing wage determination from the DOL confirms that the individual will receive the same compensation as a U.S. worker
  • To help employers get a baseline of prevailing wages, the DOL issues an update to the Online Wage Library every July 1
  • The OWL is accessible via the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center

If you’re sponsoring an expat worker for a green card, you’ll likely be required to complete the PERM Labor Certification process, which tests the U.S. employment market to ensure there are no willing, able U.S. citizens to fill the role being sponsored.

In order to fulfill the PERM application requirements, an employer must receive a prevailing wage determination from the Department of Labor (DOL), which confirms that the individual will receive the same compensation as a U.S. worker.

To help employers get a baseline of prevailing wages, the DOL issues an update to the Online Wage Library (OWL) every July 1. With each iteration, the wages increase slightly to match economic growth. The OWL is accessible via the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center at flcdatacenter.com.

How to use the wage library

  1. Choose the state in which the position is located and click Search.
  2. Further narrow the search parameters by selecting a county or township.
  3. Enter a keyword that correlates with the position, such as developer, or choose an occupation from the list then click Search.
  4. Your wage results will populate, featuring a definition of the role and wage estimation for various levels of seniority. Work with your immigration services provider to determine which wage level best fits the role.

Note: Once you’ve found the right search results, save the Occupational Employment Statistics/Standard Occupational Classification (OES/SOC) code so you can find the results page quicker during future visits.

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