How to save on health care and other costs when you’re covered by a union
The number of U.S. workers employed by unions has increased by more than 70 percent since 2000, but union membership rates remain low.
The unionization rate in the private sector rose to 63.8 percent in 2015 from 61.6 percent in 2000, according to a study released Thursday by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Unionization rates have not increased much in the U. S. labor market, which was once dominated by small-town workers.
Labor unions are increasingly focused on the health care, consumer protection, education and other industries, including social service, that they traditionally represent, according.
“Unionization has grown from less than 50 percent in the early 1990s to about 50 percent today, and that’s a really good thing,” said Chris Baca, associate director of labor and employment studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
Union members are less likely to be laid off or fired than non-union employees.
They also are more likely to have lower-paying jobs and to be paid more, according the report.
The National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that in 2016, unions contributed $9.6 billion in revenue to the federal government.
That’s about $8.6 for every dollar a union member makes.
More than half of the unionization in the United States was in the health and human services sector, which employs the largest share of workers, according data from the Center for Labor Market Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
The health and public safety sectors are also in the driver’s seat.
About 70 percent of the workers who are members of the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest union, belong to the NEA, according Baca.
While unions are growing in number, they are still relatively small.
According to the union-affiliated National Education Union, the union represents about 7.2 million teachers, and the National Nurses United represents about 5.5 million members.
Union membership has increased substantially in recent years, but the number of unionized workers in the labor market has decreased.
According to a report released in February by the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute, the labor participation rate among white workers was 64.7 percent in 2012, down from 64.9 percent in 2010.