We Are the National Electrical Contractors Association

The Voice of the Electrical Construction Industry. Learn More
Welcome back,

NECA Manual of Labor Units (MLU)

2017-2018 Edition

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. 

What’s new to the MLU?

MLU17Cover

The 2017-2018 Edition of the MLU features a complete reorganization to better align with common specification documents. All labor units within the manual now correspond with the Construction Specification Institute’s MasterFormat®, 2016 Edition. Labor units have been placed with the 15 MasterFormat Divisions that NECA members most commonly bid on and a reference of these changes is found within the Manual.

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.