National Electrical Contractors Association

The Voice Of The Electrical Construction Industry

Contractor Resources

NECA Manual of Labor Units (MLU) 2015-16

An estimate is only as good as the information it is based on, and the NECA Manual of Labor Units (MLU) has been the estimating resource of choice for electrical contractors since 1923.

The MLU provides an experience-based reference for estimating the electrical construction labor required to install typical electrical and communications systems. The labor unit data comes directly from a national average of NECA’s member contractors and is reviewed and updated bi-annually to ensure you have the best information to accurately estimate.  

What’s included in the MLU?

NECA’s labor units include: normal material handling; drawing study, measurement and layout; material installation; and normal non-productive labor.

Is time for supervision included?

NECA’s the labor units do not include any labor for supervision of any type.

All electrical construction requires more than one level of supervision, and the magnitude of supervision depends on the complexity, type, and size of each project. Because each project is unique, it is the opinion of most electrical contractors that the labor for supervision is best estimated as a separate cost item and that no part of the supervision labor be included in the material installation labor units.

What’s the difference between the three columns in the MLU?

The NECA labor unit tables include three different labor units for each item. Users of the MLU are also encouraged to consider labor units between the columns, or even lower than or exceeding the columns when appropriate.

Normal Installation Conditions – When all of the conditions associated with the installation of an item will permit the maximum productivity of the electricians on a project, these “normal” column labor units are applicable.

Difficult Installation Conditions When one or more of the conditions associated with the installation of an item will permit less than maximum productivity of the electricians on a typical project, these “difficult” column labor units are applicable.

Very Difficult Installation Conditions  When one or more of the conditions associated with the installation of an item will permit substantially less than maximum productivity of the electricians on a typical project, these “very difficult” column labor units are applicable. 

 

The Introduction to the MLU includes a Labor Factor Score Sheet to help determine the appropriate column.

  • View a complete listing of NECA's resources and industry information by topic.
  • NECA’s education programs provide innovation, business trends and effective leadership exclusive to electrical contractors.
  • NECA is working every day to ensure you have every opportunity available to stay on top of the issues affecting your business and to be directly in touch with your Senators and your Representative in Congress.
  • NECA communities are member-initiated groups where contractors and industry professionals sharing common interests and business concerns can come together.
  • NECA membership isn’t just about saving your firm time and money; it’s also about helping your company make more money and achieve success!
  • NECA contractors employ the most highly trained and reliable workforce in the industry. They will get your job done right the first time, on time, without disrupting your business.