US: Low wage workers and unions

by Jonathan Tasini

This is a catch-up with an interesting, and not surprising report, from the good folks at the Center for Economic and Policy Research: After decades of disappointing wage growth for many American workers, a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that unionization significantly boosts the wages of low-wage workers.

The report, “The Union Advantage for Low Wage Workers”, finds that unionization raises the wages of the typical low-wage worker by 20.6 percent. Unions also have a substantial impact on the wages of workers at the middle and top of the wage distribution, but the report found that the effect for low-wage workers was the largest.

For the typical U.S. worker –the earner right in the middle of the national pay scale– unionization raises wages about 13.7 percent, about two-thirds of the impact of unionization on the typical low-wage worker. For the typical high-wage worker, joining a union increased pay about 6.1 percent, or less than one-third of the increase for low-wage workers.

It shows the kind of country we are when you actually need a report to prove what would seem obvious. Read the whole report.

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