Report: Union Workers Fare Better

A new report by the Economic Policy Institute shows that union workers fare better than those who do the same work but are not members of a union. Not only do union members make more in wages and have more benefits but they also do better outside of work.

The report focused on several factors where union members do better. For example, the report states:

We find that, on average, the 17 U.S. states with the highest union densities:

  • have state minimum wages that are on average 19% higher than the national average and 40% higher than those in low-union-density states

  • have median annual incomes $6,000 higher than the national average

  • have higher-than-average unemployment insurance recipiency rates (that is, a higher share of those who are unemployed actually receive unemployment insurance)

Not only do union workers have higher wages and lower unemployment but also:

  • have an uninsured (without health insurance) population 4.5 percentage points lower, on average, than that of low-union-density states
  • have all elected to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, protecting their residents from falling into the “coverage gap”
  • are more likely to have passed paid sick leave laws and paid family and medical leave laws than states with lower union densities

Finally, the report also shows that higher density union states are less likely to restrict voting with the study showing, “significantly fewer restrictive voting laws have been passed in the 17 highest-union-density states than in the middle 17 states (including D.C.) and the 17 lowest-union-density states,” while, “over 70% of low-union-density states passed at least one voter suppression law between 2011 and 2019.”

Michigan has the ninth highest union density at 15.8% trailing New York, the number one state in America, with 24.7%.

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