Union Workers Earn More

On average, U.S. union workers consistently earn more than nonunion workers.

One of the many benefits of belonging to a union is financial. In 2002, a union worker brought home $153 more each week than the nonunion worker.

For minority workers, the advantages of union representation are even more dramatic. In 2002, for example, African-American union members earned 29 percent or $138 per week more than their nonunion counterparts.

It pays to be union!

Median Weekly Earnings of Full-Time Wage and Salary Workers

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Earnings, January 2003.

Job Union Earnings Nonunion Earnings % Difference
Average $740 $587 26
Administrative-clerical $613 $490 25
Exec., administrative, mgr. $892 $889 0.3
Farm, forestry, fish $548 $357 54
Handlers, laborers $555 $381 46
Machine operators $616 $490 26
Precision, craft, repair $821 $590 39
Professional $889 $879 1
Sales $572 $601 -5
Service, protective $820 $519 58
Service, other $448 $341 31
Technicians $775 $682 14
Transportation, moving $728 $525 39
Job Union Earnings Nonunion Earnings % Difference
Average $740 $587 26
Administrative-clerical $613 $490 25
Exec., administrative, mgr. $892 $889 0.3
Farm, forestry, fish $548 $357 54
Handlers, laborers $555 $381 46
Machine operators $616 $490 26
Precision, craft, repair $821 $590 39
Professional $889 $879 1
Sales $572 $601 -5
Service, protective $820 $519 58
Service, other $448 $341 31
Technicians $775 $682 14
Transportation, moving $728 $525 39

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Earnings, January 2001. Prepared by the AFL-CIO.

For minority workers, the advantages of union representation are even more dramatic. In 1999, for example, black members earned over 38 percent or $160 per week more than black nonunion workers.

MEDIAN WEEKLY EARNINGS OF FULL-TIME WAGE AND SALARY WORKERS, 2002 U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Earnings, January 2003. Prepared by the AFL-CIO. It pays to be union!