BLS Releases Updated Data on Weekly Wages and Union Density
The median weekly earnings of all full-time workers in the construction industry rose by 3.72 percent to $642 in 2006, according to data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The increase was slightly higher for nonunion workers than for union-represented workers, although union-represented workers continue to earn about 60 percent more than nonunion workers. Nonunion workers in the industry earned an average of $610 per week in 2006, up 3.39 percent from $590 in 2005, while union-represented workers earned an average of $956 in 2006, up 3.24 percent from $926 in 2005. Looking further back, BLS data show that union-represented workers’ wages in the industry rose 18.02 percent between 2000 and 2006, and that nonunion workers’ wages rose 15.31 percent during the six-year period.
BLS has also released updated data on union affiliation. The number of union-represented workers in the industry increased from 1,111,000 in 2005 to 1,146,000 in 2006. However, the total number of workers in the industry rose at a higher rate, from 8,053,000 in 2005 to 8,444,000 in 2006, yielding a slight decline in union density from 13.8 to 13.6 percent of the construction workforce. This compares with 19.0 percent in 2000. Construction continues to have one of the highest rates of union representation among all private industries, second only to the transportation industry.
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