Union decline lowers wages of nonunion workers: The overlooked reason why wages are stuck and inequality is growing

Private-sector union decline since the late 1970s has contributed to wage losses among workers who do not belong to a union. This is especially true for men, particularly non–college graduates. For nonunion private-sector men without a bachelor’s degree or more education, weekly wages would be an estimated 8 percent ($58) higher in 2013 if union density remained at its 1979 levels. These lost wages due to declining union power eclipse non–college graduates’ estimated 5 percent wage loss from increased trade with low-wage nations, signaling that decline in union power must receive more attention in the debate over wage stagnation and growing inequality.