Workers Make $1.3 Million More Through Their Careers When They’re in a Union

New research reveals the many material benefits workers will reap from unionization as they seek more control over their work conditions and wages in the United States.

A new studyPublished in Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations Review finds that workers who are in a union throughout their careers make $1.3 million more than workers who were never in a union; union members typically make $3.37 million in lifetime earnings, versus $2.08 million for nonunion workers – an increase of over 60 percent.

The study authors found that unionized workers are more likely to retire earlier than non-unionized workers. Further, union benefits don’t remain flat, but rather grow the longer a worker remains in a union, the study found.

This is a remarkable increase of lifetime wages and is higher than the increase earned by workers with a college education, who typically earn between $650,000 to $900,000. Previous research has shown that this is an extraordinary increase in lifetime earnings.

The earnings of men who worked from the 1960s through the 1970s, and then retired, were tracked by the researchers. Other research was also conducted. has long shownThe study authors found that union members earn more than nonunion workers at single points in the time. They also believe that examining lifetime earnings can provide a better picture about how union membership affects wages.

The study’s authors, University of Minnesota sociology professor Tom VanHeuvelen as well as Zach Parolin, a social inequalities researcher and fellow at Columbia University, state that the decline of unionization in the United States over the past decade has had a significant effect on the workforce, as well the wages, which have remained flat. Union membership has increased in recent years. fallen to historic lowsIn recent decades, income inequality has increased while it has fallen in recent years. Accelerated.

The study shows “the sizable consequences of deunionization that have been playing out over the past half-century,” VanHeuvelen told Truthout via email. In the article, VanHeuvelen and Parolin write that declining union rates are “central” to growing rates of income inequality.

He also said that research shows that unionization is a powerful economic tool to this generation of workers. “For the cohort of men who we tracked across their careers, there was a second pathway of upward economic attainment via a unionized career that provided a boost to lifetime earnings equivalent to a college degree, but this alternative pathway has largely been lost,” he said.

The research, at least partially, refutes anti-union arguments often made by union-busting employer. Employers frequently use the cost of union dues – typically a small portion, about 1 to 2 percent of a workers’ pay – to discourage workers from unionizing. The research demonstrates that the pay premium that workers get once they unionize and stay in a union can far outweigh the amount that a worker would pay to a union – even before nonmonetary benefits like health insurance, paid leave and improved working conditions that can come with unionization are taken into account.

Over the past year, unionization has been on the rise in the country. Recent data from NLRB shows that union filings rose in Fiscal year 2022. Increased by more than 50%Over the past year. Labor experts claim that workers are exercising their rights as the country experiences growing wage inequality and stagnant worker wages. Some cases even have worsening working conditions.