Creating Decent Jobs in the United States: The Role of Labor Unions and Collective Bargaining

Source: Jeannette Wicks-Lim, Political Economy Research Institute, September 2009

In “Creating Decent Jobs in the United States,” Jeannette Wicks-Lim finds that to improve workers’ wages and benefits in the coming decade, we must create meaningful improvements in pay and benefits in the occupations showing the strongest growth, and that collective bargaining presents a powerful way to do so. Wicks-Lim finds that a union worker has a 20 percent greater chance of having a decent job than a similar non-union worker. The study also shows that there is no strong evidence that higher unionization rates lead to higher unemployment rates.

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