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Union and nonunion wages, December 2011

May 13, 2013

In December 2011, private industry union workers earned more per hour than their nonunion counterparts in all major occupational groups except management, professional, and related occupations.

Employer costs per hour worked, wages and salaries, by major occupational group and bargaining status, private industry, December 2011
Occupational groupUnionNonunion

All workers


Management, professional, and related


Natural resources, construction, and maintenance


Production, transportation, and material moving


Sales and office





Union workers in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations earned $29.69 per hour, while nonunion workers in that occupational group earned $18.71 per hour. Unionized workers in production, transportation, and material moving occupations earned $21.78 per hour, compared with $14.40 per hour for nonunion workers. Unionized sales and office workers earned $16.60 per hour, compared with $15.98 for nonunionized sales and office workers. In service occupations, union workers earned $16.17 per hour compared with $10.16 for nonunion workers.

In management, professional, and related occupations, union workers earned less per hour ($32.95) than nonunion workers in these occupations ($35.70). The wage advantage for nonunion workers in this group reflects the concentration of union workers in certain relatively low-paying occupations in business and financial operations, such as claims adjusters, accountants, and training specialists

These data are from the National Compensation Survey program. Union workers are those represented by a labor organization in collective bargaining. To learn more, see "Differences in union and nonunion compensation, 2001–2011," (HTML) (PDF) by George I. Long, Monthly Labor Review, April 2013.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Union and nonunion wages, December 2011 at (visited July 21, 2024).

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