Unions Can Boost Women’s Earnings by 30%

A new analysis finds that women in unions earn $219 more per week than non-unionized women

Women in unions earn more than non-union female workers.Washington, DC—Unionized women earn $219 more per week, or 30 percent more, than non-unionized women, according to a new analysis released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).

The analysis also finds gains for women of color in unions, with Hispanic women seeing the greatest union wage advantage. Non-union Hispanic women have the lowest earnings of any racial/ethnic group of women, $565 weekly, but Hispanic women in unions earn $264 more weekly, a 47 percent increase, than those who are not.

In addition to higher earnings, women in unions are more likely to have employer-provided health insurance than non-unionized women. About 51 percent of women who are not in unions have employer-provided health insurance coverage, compared with about 77 percent of women in unions.

IWPR President Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., commented on the findings:

“As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Janus v. AFSCME case, it is important to acknowledge the essential role unions play in boosting the quality of jobs around the country. Labor unions deserve credit for many of the workplace policies that Americans now take for granted, including a 40-hour work week, a minimum wage, and pay for overtime, and the labor movement continues to champion issues like paid leave that are beneficial to all working women and families. This analysis quantifies the work that unions have done to improve wages and job protections for workers, especially women.”

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences.

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