CAP Report: Unions Build Wealth for Working People

CAP study

A new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows that union membership helps build wealth for working-class families. The report concludes that "unions are a crucial means for building wealth among the working class and reducing racial wealth gaps for workers without four-year college degrees."

Other key findings from the report include:

  • The median wealth for working-class union households ($201,240) is nearly four times that of nonunion working-class households ($52,221).
  • Being a union member helps close the wealth gap between working-class and college-educated households. 
  • Working families of color see the largest percentage of gains from union membership.
  • For all races, working-class union families are far more likely to own homes.

The report concludes: "[T]here is a long way to go to ensure that workers are able to join unions and have access to the many ways by which union members can boost their wealth. Policymakers at the federal and state levels must properly implement these laws to encourage joint labor-management partnerships for training and safety, for example. Policymakers should also design industrial policies that benefit all of the working class, particularly those who are employed in services. Finally—and most directly—policymakers need to reform labor law to make it fairer and easier for workers to form a union and bargain collectively, and they can start by passing the PRO Act."

Read the full report.