Labor Unions: Good for Workers, Not for U.S. Competitiveness

The favorability ratings for labor unions remain at nearly their lowest level in a quarter century with 45% expressing a positive view. Yet the public expresses similar opinions about business corporations – 47% have a favorable impression – and this rating is also near a historic low.

Americans express mixed views of the impact of labor unions on salaries and working conditions, international competitiveness, job availability and productivity. About half (53%) say unions have had a positive effect on the salaries and benefits of union workers, while just 17% say they have had a negative effect. Views are similar about the impact of unions on working conditions for all workers (51% positive, 17% negative).

But as many say unions have a negative effect as a positive effect on workplace productivity and on the availability of good jobs in America. And more say that unions have a negative (36%) than positive (24%) impact on the ability of U.S. companies to compete internationally.

Read the full report, Labor Unions Seen as Good for Workers, Not U.S. Competitiveness, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.