At a time when union membership is declining and unions are being aggressively attacked for their supposed role in automobile industry’s woes, a new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that unions dramatically benefit women workers in the United States.
The report, titled “Unions and Upward Mobility for Women Workers,” finds that unionized women earn on average 11.2% more than their non-unionized peers. This translates into almost $2 per hour more than non-union workers. Compared with a four-year college degree, unions boost wages less (a degree boosts wages 52%), but union membership can achieve 20% of the college education boost. Moreover, women in unions are more likely to have healthcare and pension benefits.
Even in lower paying occupations such as food preparation and cashiering, unionization benefits women workers. Among the 15 lowest paying occupations in the survey, union members earned 14% more. Similarly, they were 26% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and 23% more likely to have a pension plan.
The report analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey to arrive at its conclusions.
Currently, women make up 45% of the unionized workforce.