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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2010
10:47 AM

CONTACT: Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

Alan Barber, 202-293-5380 x115

Unionization Substantially Improves the Pay and Benefits of Immigrant Workers

WASHINGTON - March 25 - A new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) documents a large wage and benefit advantage for immigrant workers in unions relative to their non-union counterparts.

The report, "Unions and Upward Mobility for Immigrant Workers," found that unionized immigrant workers earned, on average, 17 percent more than their non-union peers. In addition, immigrant workers in unions were much more likely to have health insurance benefits and a pension plan.

"It is the labor market, not the border that is broken," said John Schmitt, a Senior Economist at CEPR and the author of the study. "Unionization raises wages and benefits - and substantially - for both US-born and immigrant workers."

The report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), found that unionization raises the pay of immigrant workers about $2.00 per hour. According to the report, immigrant workers in unions were also 50 percent more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and almost twice as likely to have an employer-provided pension plan than immigrant workers who were not in unions.

The study also shows that unionization strongly benefited immigrant workers in otherwise low-wage occupations. Among immigrant workers in the 15 lowest-paying occupations, union members earned almost 20 percent more per hour than those workers who were not in unions. In the same low-wage occupations, unionized immigrants were more than twice as likely to have employer-provided health insurance and almost three times as likely to have a pension plan than their non-union counterparts.

Additional information is available from the following organizations:

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Malcolm Amado Uno
Executive Director
Muno - at - apalanet.org

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
Hector Sanchez
Director of Policy and Research
202-508-6918

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The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.



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