January 24, 2014

Workers’ Rights Expert on Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Release of 2013 Union Membership Rate

“Unions Are Still One of the Best Ways to Ensure a Clear Pathway to the Middle Class”

Ori Korin, ori@jwj.org
202-393-1044 x126

Washington, D.C. – Following today’s release by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics of the annual union density numbers, Jobs With Justice executive director Sarita Gupta issued the following statement:

“The key to a future of shared prosperity, where everyone in our country has the opportunity to work, to secure decent jobs and benefits and to retire with dignity, is a nation with more union members, a vibrant labor movement and stronger rights at work. While union membership numbers have largely remained unchanged, the statistics don’t tell the real story of the number of people who want to be able to bargain for better wages.

Despite this, there are some bright spots, with significant gains in union membership in the manufacturing, construction and service sectors.

The fact remains that workers continue to benefit from unions, particularly women and people of color. Union members earned median weekly earnings of $950, while those who were not union members had median weekly earnings of $750. Women union members earned $898 compared to $706 for non-members, black union members earned $791 compared to $629 for non-members, and Latino union members earned $838 compared to $578 for non-members.  Even when controlling for factors like occupation, education and industry, the union wage advantage remains significant.”

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