January 16, 2016

Stronger Unions for a Stronger Middle Class

The United States has long thought of itself as a middle-class nation, but that is less true today than it was 30 years ago. To strengthen the country’s middle class, policies are needed to increase wages and incomes so that more workers can improve their economic security.

A new report from the Center for American Progress, “What Do Unions Do for the Middle Class?”, examines how the decline of labor unions over the past three decades has hurt the American middle class and increased income inequality. Analyzing a variety of factors—including union membership and the residual effect union wages have on nonunion workers in similar jobs—the authors estimate that the decline in union coverage accounts for 35 percent of the falling share of middle-class workers.

As the national conversation continues to focus on income inequality, this report is an excellent resource for one component of rebuilding America’s middle class. We hope this report offers you helpful data and analysis for your efforts to build a more just economy for all.

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