New Estimates of the Industrial Locus of Unionism in the United States
NBER Working Paper No. 273
This study presents new estimates of collective bargaining coverage and union membership for detailed U.S. industries. It compares the new coverage and membership figures with each other and with figures derived by researchers for the early 1960's and analyzes the divergences. This analysis leads to three primary conclusions:1) Estimated coverage percentages are on average higher than estimated membership percentages; 2) This relationship is primarily the result of the absence of union security clauses (under which covered employees must at some point become union members); 3) Even among production workers within detailed industries, private sector unionism has been dwindling during the past two decades.
Published: ILRR, Vol. 32, no. 2 (1979): 143-174.