Labor Facts & Figures

Union membership has been on the decline for more than 30 years and is approximately 10% of the workforce.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Since 1973, worker productivity increased 74% , but wages increased just 9%.

As union membership rates have dropped, so has middle class income. From 1973 to 2015, middle class income decreased 6%.

The median weekly earnings of union members is $1,004. For non-union workers it’s $802.

As wages for average workers have fallen and union membership has declined, income inequality has soared. The 400 richest Americans are worth more than $2 trillion – more than the national budgets of many countries.


Women workers in unions earn 12% more than nonunion women. Union women workers in low wage occupations, such as childcare workers, make 24% or $2.75 per hour more than their non-union counterparts.

Bread for the World

Companies with a union presence are 18% more likely to provide paid sick leave, 21 % more likely to provide paid vacation, and 21% more likely to provide paid holidays.

Bread for the World

“Right to work” laws have nothing to do with a right to work. They are euphemisms for permitting non-union member employees to continue to get the benefits of union representation and protection, as required by federal law, without having to pay for these benefits.

Private-sector employees in “right-to-work” states earned an average of $738 a week in the past 12 months, 9% less than workers in states without such laws.

U.S. Labor Department

In the Midwest, where unions have historically been powerful, employers pay an average of $28.15 per worker per hour—factoring in both wages and benefits—while in the South, the average is $26.32 an hour.

Wall Street Journal

Belonging to a union reduces the gender gap by 50%.

Bread for the World

Only 6% of childcare workers are members of a union and domestic workers are excluded from many of the basic protections guaranteed by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1963.

Bread for the World

Between 2000 and 2010, US based global corporations laid off 2.9 million Americans. During the same period, they created 2.4 million jobs abroad.

U.S. Commerce Dept.

There are 246 million exploited children between the ages of 5 and 17 involved in debt bondage, forced recruitment for armed conflict, prostitution, pornography, the illegal drug trade, the illegal arms trade and other illicit activities around the world.

The International Labor Organization

Paid Sick Leave

Approximately 20% of food service workers come to work at least once each year “while sick with vomiting or diarrhea.”

The Center for Disease Control

Some of the largest companies that do not provide sick days are restaurants such as: McDonalds, Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Chick Fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, KFC, Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden, Applebees, Dominos, Outback Steakhouse, Cheesecake Factory etc.

The New York Times

Sick leave is a standard benefit at profitable companies such as In-n-Out Burger, Fred Meyer, Stop & Shop and Safeway.

The New York Times

Most low paid workers cannot afford to stay home when they are sick and must choose between getting paid or taking care of themselves.

The New York Times

Novovirus, a major cause of food poisoning, sickens approximately 20 million Americans and kills several hundred each year. Outbreaks are often traced back to sick food service workers.

The New York Times

Paid sick leave is standard in other developed nations, 13 states and in some large cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington.

The New York Times

Requiring sick leave reduced cases of influenza by 11% in the first year after a new law takes effect

The New York Times

Providing paid sick leave cost employers an average of 2.7 cents per hour of paid work.

The New York Times