Union Advantage by the Numbers

Union workers’ median weekly earnings $781

Nonunion workers’ median weekly earnings $612

Union wage advantage 28%

Union women’s median weekly earnings $723

Nonunion women’s median weekly earnings $541

Union wage advantage for women 34%

African American union workers’ median weekly earnings $656

African American nonunion workers’ median weekly earnings $507

Union wage advantage for African Americans 29%

Latino union workers’ median weekly earnings $679

Latino nonunion workers’ median weekly earnings $428

Union wage advantage for Latinos 59%

Asian American union workers’ median weekly earnings $765

Asian American nonunion workers’ median weekly earnings $691

Union wage advantage for Asian Americans 11%

Union workers with guaranteed (defined-benefit) pension 70%

Nonunion workers with guaranteed (defined-benefit) pension 16%

Union pension advantage 338%

Union workers whose jobs provide health insurance 86%

Nonunion workers whose jobs provide health insurance 59.5%

Union health benefits advantage 45%

Union workers without health insurance coverage 2.5%

Nonunion workers without health insurance coverage 15%

Union advantage 500%

Union workers’ average days of paid vacation 15 days

Nonunion workers’ average days of paid vacation 11.75 days

Union paid vacation advantage 27%

Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Union Members in 2004, Jan. 27, 2005; U.S. Department of

Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in Private Industry in the United

States, November 2004; Economic Policy Institute; Employee Benefits Research Institute, May 2005.

 

Working Families Are Struggling

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As union workers become a smaller portion of the workforce, heavily organized industries decline and employers fight workers’ attempts to form unions, good union contracts are out of reach of many workers and working families suffer the results.

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8 million U.S. workers are officially unemployed—14 million are jobless, underemployed or have given up looking for work. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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Typical household income fell $1,535 between 2000 and 2003. (U.S. Census Bureau)

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45 million Americans have no health insurance—5 million more than in 2000. The share of individuals with employment-based coverage share fell to 60.4 percent in 2003, the lowest level in 10 years. (U.S. Census Bureau; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

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Workers who still have job-based insurance have seen their costs for family coverage climb nearly 50 percent in the past three years. (Kaiser Family Foundation)

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Only 21 percent of workers with large and medium-size employers had defined-benefit pension coverage in 2003, compared with 84 percent in 1980. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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4.3 million more Americans are poor than in 2000. (U.S. Census Bureau)