Monday, March 10, 2014

The Typical American, Unions

Most American workers are not unionized.  So the typical American is not a union member.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates 9.2 million current American workers belong to unions.  Unions also include millions of retired workers not counted in the 9.2 million current workers figure.

For those American workers, however, who are unionized and working in the private sector (rather than a union of state/Federal employees), they will earn 23% more than non-unionized workers.  The BLS also reports 94% of unionized workers in the private sector are offered health insurance by their employers compared to 67% of non-unionized private-sector workers.  Union workers also have a higher percentage of their health insurance premiums paid by their employer and receive more benefits such as sick leave, paid vacation, retirement, and life insurance benefits.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a bit more than 1 in 10 US workers are unionized.  This compares to Iceland where 79.3% of worker are unionized.  In fact, in all the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland), the majority of workers are in unions.  On the other hand, fewer than 10% of workers in South Korea, Turkey, Estonia and France are unionized.

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