Press Release Inequality Jobs Unions United States

Unionized Public Sector Jobs Play Critical Role for Black Workers

February 25, 2021

Contact: Karen Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

Washington DC – The public sector was an important source of union jobs for Black workers in 2020, according to a new analysis released today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

The unionization rate for Black workers in the public sector is quadruple that for Black workers in the private sector. Furthermore, unionized public sector workers account for a larger share of the Black workforce than they do of the white workforce.

The coauthors of the analysis, CEPR Research Associate Hayley Brown and Senior Economist Dean Baker, say the smaller pay gap between Black and white workers in the public sector compared to the private sector underscores the importance that unionization plays in contributing to pay equity for Black workers.

The analysis also shows that about a fifth of federal workers are Black. For Black workers in the public sector, union density and the number of unionized workers both increased. 

Support Cepr

If you value CEPR's work, support us by making a financial contribution.