Agenda for Shared Prosperity

Unions and the Economy

Return to topics list

One of the most important reasons that the benefits of economic growth have not been broadly shared is that U.S. labor law does not protect the right of workers to organize unions. Harley Shaiken's report argues that the decline in unions squeezes the middle class, raises inequality, hurts U.S. competitiveness, and undermines democratic values. Richard Freeman concludes, based on results of a comprehensive survey, that workers want unions more than ever before. These papers present powerful evidence in support of the Employee Free Choice Act.


Unions, the Economy, and Employee Free Choice
by Harley Shaiken

Do Workers Still Want Unions? More Than Ever
by Richard B. Freeman

A New Social Contract: Restoring Dignity and Balance to the Economy
by Thomas Kochan and Beth Shulman

See more reports on this issue at


The right to organize, freedom, and the middle class squeeze, by EPI president Lawrence Mishel. Testimony about the importance of unions for American workers given before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on March 27, 2007.

Return to topics list




Copyright © 2010 Economic Policy Institute. All rights reserved. Contact