Strong unions lead to strong economies, and we all win

Is it any surprise that workers who are treated better and paid fair wages are more productive?

Tell your network

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Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show just how strong the connection is between the strength of a state’s unions and its economic success. In states with strong unions, productivity and per capita GDP are higher than they are in states with anti-worker laws. That should come as no surprise: When people are treated with dignity in their workplaces — and when they have more job security — they’re more productive employees.

Productivity, which is measured by gross state product per employee, is higher in states where more workers are unionized.

By contrast, per capita GDP is lower in states with anti-worker laws. In 2013, states with strong union laws and protections averaged $54,113 GDP per capita, compared to only $44,283 for states with anti-worker laws.

GDP_per_Capita

Let’s compare Oregon to our anti-worker neighbor to the east. While our economy is growing, Idaho’s has lagged behind. Between 2008 and 2014, inflation-adjusted per capita gross domestic product increased in Oregon by 6.3% and declined in Idaho by 4.6%.

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And when it comes to individual worker productivity (which is measured as a state’s GDP divided by the number of workers), that’s also lower in states with anti-worker laws. In 2013, pro-worker states averaged $124,278 in value produced per worker, which is 10% higher than the $112,507 average in states with anti-worker laws (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis). Is it any surprise that workers who are treated better and paid fair wages are more productive?

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Strong unions mean strong economies — on top of improved working conditions for all workers. Let’s keep Oregonians working in high quality, good paying jobs so we can all have a brighter future.