Weekly wages would be 5% higher for non-union private sector male workers if unionization was at 1979 levels.
Union membership has dropped sharply in Wisconsin and elsewhere in recent years. In 2007, 15.4% of Wisconsin workers were represented by a union, dropping to 9.4% in 2015. Governor Scott Walker signed legislation limiting the unionization rights of private-sector workers in 2015, which is likely to drive the number of workers represented by unions even lower going forward.
That decline in unionization has cost some Wisconsin workers thousands of dollars, even if they are not covered by a union. According to the EPI report:
- Weekly wages would be 5% higher for non-union private sector male workers if unionization remained at its same level as in 1979. For a year-round worker, this adds up to a loss of $2,704.