Good news for unions: Wage increases are up. Bad news for unions: Non-union wages are rising faster.
A rather lengthy Bloomberg good news, bad news analysis on the state of today’s unions summarized five major measurements of labor strength-—-“membership, organizing, wages, unrest, and internal pressures” to measure how unions fared in 2018 in relation to past years.
For example, according to Bloomberg, while the National Labor Relations Board “oversaw 1,171 union representation elections in 2018, an all-time low since Bloomberg Law started analyzing NLRB records,” union win rates were “better than seven out of every 10 representation elections.”
Another positive development Bloomberg cited was the fact that unions “negotiated an average first-year wage increase of 3.4 percent in 2018, up sharply from 2.7 percent in 2017.”
“That made 2018 the most lucrative year for labor since the Great Recession,” Bloomberg noted.
However, Bloomberg also stated that unions have to worry that, while union workers still average more than non-union, the union advantage is not as great as it once was.
“…nonunion earnings in recent years have been rising at about twice the pace of union earnings. From 2010 to 2018, for example, nonunion workers’ hourly earnings grew by more than two dollars—while those for union workers rose by less than one. Indeed, the pay gap between union and nonunion workers has never been narrower.”
In related news, wage trends in collective bargaining agreements dipped slightly, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
“On average, unions negotiated 3.2 percent first-year salary increases through April 22 this year, according to the latest update of Bloomberg Law’s database of U.S. wage settlements. That’s down slightly from 3.3 percent two weeks ago. Overall, first-year pay hikes have fluctuated between 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent since January.”
BNA Union Wage Data on Scribd
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