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America’s most-unionized industry just got America’s best raise

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
The pay is good.
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

For the record, the most heavily unionized private industry in the US also raked in some of the best pay increases last year.

Utilities workers notched the largest nominal, year-over-year increases in average hourly earnings out of all the high-level industries broken out by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 4.8% increase in December 2015. More than 21% of these folks—roughly 205,000 people—were union members, the highest among the private sector industries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers little explanation for the relatively strong wage growth among utilities workers. But given sluggishness of overall wage growth in recent years, one can’t help but notice the correlation between union membership and pay, even if it doesn’t prove causation.

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