Unionization Substantially Improves the Pay and Benefits of Women Workers
Unionization Substantially Improves the Pay and Benefits of Women WorkersGains from union membership large, even compared to benefits of college education.
For Immediate Release: December 2, 2008
Contact: Alan Barber, 202-293-5380 x115
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) documents a large wage and benefit advantage for women workers in unions relative to their non-union counterparts.
The report, "Unions and Upward Mobility for Women Workers," found that unionized women workers earned, on average, 11.2 percent more than their non-union peers. In addition, women in unions were much more likely to have health insurance benefits and a pension plan.
"For women, joining a union makes as much sense as going to college," said John Schmitt, a Senior Economist at CEPR and the author of the study. "All else equal, joining a union raises a woman's wage as much as a full-year of college, and a union raises the chances a woman has health insurance by more than earning a four-year college degree."
The report , which analyzed data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), found that unionization raises the pay of women workers by almost $2.00 per hour. According to the report, women workers in unions were also 19 percentage points more likely to have employer-provided health insurance, all the more significant, since women pay higher premium rates individually than men. Women workers were also 26 percentage points more likely to have an employer-provided pension plan than women workers who were not in unions.
The study also shows that unionization strongly benefited women workers in otherwise low-wage occupations. Among women workers in the 15 lowest-paying occupations, union members earned 14 percent more than those workers who were not in unions. In the same low-wage occupations, unionized women were 26 percentage points more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and 23 percentage points more likely to have a pension plan than their non-union counterparts.
Additional state-specific information is available from the following organizations:
Lawrence D. Weiss Ph.D., M.S.
Alaska Center for Public Policy
Director of Communications
Center on Policy Initiatives
(619) 584-5744 x64
NC Budget & Tax Center
Mark A. Price, Ph.D.
Keystone Research Center