Big Business’ Big Lie: Higher Union Rates Do Not Equal Higher Unemployment

Source: Doug Cunningham, Worker’s Independent News, March 22, 2009

In their efforts to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act labor law reform, right-wing business interests claim making it easier for workers to join unions will cause higher unemployment. Not true. Canada’s percentage of unionized workers is 20 points higher than in the U.S. but it’s unemployment is 7.7 percent, lower than in the U.S. Historically, jobless rates in Denmark and Norway have averaged around 3 percent, yet in those countries 80 percent of workers are in unions. The Center for Economic and Policy Research says in the 1960’s more than 30 percent of U.S. workers were in unions. The jobless rate was below five percent for most of that decade Today, with 12 percent of workers in unions, our jobless rate is much higher. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development published a study in 2006 that concluded there is no link between unionization rates and unemployment.

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