When Do U.S. Workers First Experience Unionization? Implications for Revitalizing the Labor Movement

36 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2007 Last revised: 17 Aug 2009

See all articles by John W. Budd

John W. Budd

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Date Written: June 18, 2008

Abstract

Debates over revitalizing the U.S. labor movement often overlook when workers are first unionized. This paper tracks a cohort of individuals from age 15/16 to 40/41 to analyze the frequency and nature of workers' first unionized jobs. It is well-established that workers are most likely to be unionized when they are in their forties, but this paper shows that individuals first encounter unionization in their jobs at a much younger age and at a surprising rate. These results highlight the importance of life-cycle union representation strategies that recognize the young age at which many workers are first unionized.

Keywords: union membership

JEL Classification: J50

Suggested Citation

Budd, John W., When Do U.S. Workers First Experience Unionization? Implications for Revitalizing the Labor Movement (June 18, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1025435 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1025435

John W. Budd (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

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Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
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