Unions and Upward Mobility for Young Workers

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October 2008, John Schmitt

This report uses national data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) to show that unionization raises the wages of the typical young worker by 12.4 percent compared to their non-union peers. The study goes on to show that unionization also increases the likelihood that a young worker will have health insurance and a pension. The study also notes that despite being better educated, this age cohort earns 10% less than did their counterparts in 1979 (see graph below).

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Median Real Wage Growth by Age, 1979-2007