APIA workers among the fastest growing groups in the union workforce

A new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) documents a large wage and benefit advantage for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers in unions, relative to their non-union counterparts.

The report, “Unions and Upward Mobility for Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers,” updates an earlier analysis of AAPI workers in organized labor and incorporates the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS), for the period 2003–2009, to reveal a number of advantages of unionization for AAPI workers.

“As a share of the union workforce, only Latinos are growing at a rate faster than Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” said Nicole Woo, director of Domestic Policy at CEPR and an author of the report.

“While this is reflective of workforce trends in general, the data show that joining a union makes a big difference in the wages and benefits of AAPI workers.”

The report finds that unionization raises the pay of Asian American and Pacific Islander workers by about $2.50 per hour. AAPI workers are 16 percentage points more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and 22 percentage points more likely to have an employer-provided pension plan than their non-union counterparts. ♦

The full analysis can be found at www.cepr.net/documents/publications/unions-aapi-2011-01.pdf.

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