See a new report on unions, inequality and the faltering middle class from the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank which works to inform and empower individuals to seek solutions that ensure broadly shared prosperity and opportunity. From the August report by Lawrence Mishel:
“Between 1973 and 2011, the median worker’s real hourly compensation (which includes wages and benefits) rose just 10.7 percent. Most of this growth occurred in the late 1990s wage boom, and once the boom subsided by 2002 and 2003, real wages and compensation stagnated for most workers-college graduates and high school graduates alike. This has made the last decade a ‘lost decade’ for wage growth. The last decade has also been characterized by increased wage inequality between workers at the top and those at the middle, and by the continued divergence between overall productivity and the wages or compensation of the typical worker.
“A major factor driving these trends has been the ongoing erosion of unionization and the declining bargaining power of unions, along with the weakened ability of unions to set norms or labor standards that raise the wages of comparable nonunion workers. This preview of the forthcoming The State of Working America, 12th Edition presents a detailed analysis of the impact of unionization on wages and benefits and on wage inequality….”
Read the rest of this critical report on the EPI website.