The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Economic Policy released a new report entitled, “Labor Unions and the Middle Class,” that highlights the role that labor unions play in the American economy. Overall, the report found that unions play an important role in addressing longstanding challenges faced by the middle class – including stagnant wages, high housing costs and reduced intergenerational mobility. In doing so, the report explains that unions contribute to a more robust and resilient economy.

The report’s key findings are that unions raise the wages of their members by 10 to 15 percent, improve fringe benefits such as retirement plans and improve workplace grievance policies and scheduling; unionization has spillover effects that extend beyond union workers through heightened civic engagement and workplace safety norms; unions encourage egalitarian wage practices and reduce racial and gender wage gaps; and unions contribute to economic growth and resilience by reducing income inequality.

The report also notes that as of 2022, 16.4 percent of U.S. construction and extraction workers were represented by a union and that unionized construction and extraction workers were also paid more than 40 percent more than their non-union counterparts.

The full report is available here for review.