Raw Data: The Union Premium

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The Department of Labor released its latest report on union membership today, and it’s no surprise that private sector union membership continued its long-term decline, down from 6.9 percent last year to 6.6 percent this year. To give you an idea of what this means in real-life terms, here’s the latest data on the difference in wages between unionized and nonunionized workers. It doesn’t distinguish between job categories, so it exaggerates the actual premium, but this nonetheless gives you a sense of just what it means to actual people, in terms of dollars and cents, that private-sector union membership has shriveled to almost nothing in recent decades. It’s left as an exercise for the reader to figure out who’s getting this union premium now that so few corporations have to pay it to their workers.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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