Business Insider: Labor unions aren't just helpful — they might be 'necessary

Ian Pajer-Rogers |

From Business Insider:

by Bob Bryan

Workers and supporters march to the Vegas Auto Spa, a car wash that has become a focal point for labor and union rights, during a rally on March 4, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. 

Through boom and bust, the American worker has been faced by two trends over the past few decades: the percentage of workers that are members of labor unions has decreased and the American middle class has slowly been hollowed out. 

According to four researchers — Richard Freeman at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Eunice Han at Wellesley College, and David Madland and Brendan V. Duke at the Center for American Progress — the two trends are closely connected.

"The evidence in this paper shows that parents' unionism has a significant relationship with their offspring's well-being," wrote the researches in a paper from the NBER.

The correlation, the study said, could have serious implications in the way that the public thinks about unions.

"A strong union movement is not simply sufficient for high levels of intergenerational mobility and middle-class membership, but it could be necessary," wrote the researchers.

"If that is the case, it will be difficult to meaningfully increase intergenerational mobility and rebuild the middle class without also rebuilding unions or some comparable worker-based organizations."

From Business Insider.