Axios’ morning email thingie begins with some interesting news about Labor (weird formatting is theirs):
Unions represent a larger percentage of U.S. workers than at any time in the past five years, as the pandemic took its biggest bite out of non-unionized jobs, Axios’ Dan Primack writes…
And here is the kicker buried way down in the article:
Caveat: The actual number of union members fell in 2020 by over 321,000, but the decline in nonunion jobs was much steeper.
I think we can contextualize that the Trump-Virus pandemic saw unorganized and unrepresented people fired, but union workers were better protected. I don’t know that for a fact, but it seems like the implication.
More interesting stats:
In 2020, 10.8% of all wage and salaried workers were members of unions, up 0.5% from 2019, according to government statistics.
- That’s the highest mark since 2015 (11.%).
- Men were more likely than women to be in a union (11% vs. 10.5%), and the highest age cohort was 45-64 years old.
- Black workers (11.2%) were more likely to be union members than white (10.3%), Asian (8.8%) or Hispanic (8.5%) workers.
- A huge gap remains between public sector (34.8%) and private sector (6.3%) workers.
Union representation is probably the single greatest factor in US history for creating a middle class, which we see shrinking all the time. If you have the opportunity to join a union, you should take it. There’s something comforting about have some consistency in life.
Things are far from rosy for us. The AP notes that this Labor Day marks a “perilous crossroads” for millions of Americans who will lose unemployment benefits:
Two primary anchors of the government’s COVID protection package are ending or have recently ended. Starting Monday, an estimated 8.9 million people will lose all unemployment benefits. A federal eviction moratorium already has expired.
While other aspects of pandemic assistance including rental aid and the expanded Child Tax Credit are still widely available, untold millions of Americans will face Labor Day with a suddenly shrunken social safety net.
The Republicans are not going let these measures be renewed (with an assist from the usual Blue Dogs, let’s be honest), and we are in for rough times ahead. What little stability these measures brought since the pandemic began is ending.
Usually I tell you guys to go out and grill hot dogs and hamburgers, but this year consider helping someone in your community. If you have a couple of bucks in the budget that are not allocated, consider donating them to a local food bank.
The big whammy is coming.
UPDATE 1: One in three US workers does gig work now.
UPDATE 2: always leave ’em laughing is the MPS motto