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EconomicPolicyInstitute

Union decline lowers wages of nonunion workers

In a new EPI report, Washington University’s Jake Rosenfeld writes that the dramatic decline in union density since 1979 has resulted in far lower wages for nonunion workers—at every level of education and experience. The impact of declining unionization equals a $133 billion loss in annual wages for nonunion workers. A new Economic Snapshot based off this research shows how union decline has exacerbated wage inequality in the United States.

ECONOMY

Pace of the U.S. economic recovery

EPI’s Josh Bivens appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” where he discussed his recent report on the sluggish recovery from the Great Recession. Bivens argues that Republican policymakers are to blame for one of the slowest economic recoveries in recent history. Watch the video.

TEACHER PAY

Teacher Pay Gap

EPI President Lawrence Mishel went on C-Span’s “Washington Journal” to discuss his new research showing that teachers are paid 17 percent less than comparably educated and experienced workers. He explained that the pay gap for teachers is getting worse over time. Watch the video.

IN THE NEWS
Reuters
USA Today covered EPI’s report on union decline, noting that the average weekly earnings for nonunion private-sector male workers would have been 5 percent, or $52, higher in 2013 if the share of union workers had remained at 1979 levels. | "Decline of unions has hurt all workers: study" »
Reuters
The New York Times quoted Lawrence Mishel on the Census Bureau’s upcoming release of data on median household income. “You’ll probably see strong income growth and some reduction in poverty, but I don’t think you’ll find that household income will return to their prior levels in 1999.” | "How the Middle Class May Have Gotten a Raise" »
Reuters
New York Magazine cited EPI’s recent report on the teacher pay gap, noting that weekly wages for public-school teachers have declined 5 percent over the past five years. | "7 Years After the Recession, America’s Public Schools Still Haven’t Recovered" »
Reuters
In a story about flexible work schedules, the Washington Post cited EPI research, noting that on average, Americans work 1,836 hours per year—up 9 percent from 1,687 in 1979. | "Report: Flexible schedules reward dads, not moms" »
Reuters
The New York Times cited EPI research on the employment effects of President Obama’s climate change policies, noting the initiatives would cut jobs in industries like coal mining, but increase jobs in industries like wind and solar development—leading to a net gain of 24,342 jobs by 2030. | "Coal Country Is Wary of Hillary Clinton’s Pledge to Help" »
Reuters
In a story about the racial wage gap, the Nation cited EPI research showing  that “the weak labor market of the 2000–2007 business cycle, along with the Great Recession, have wiped out all improvements in median black income since 1994.” | "The Wage Gap Is Worse for Black Women" »
Reuters
MoneyWatch covered EPI’s recent report on union decline, writing, “some 73.1 million full-time nonunion private sector workers are losing $133 billion in wages a year due to weakened unions.” | "One big reason for stagnant wages and rising inequality" »
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