Union organizer signs for Amazon warehouse

Tilly on Rise in Union Organizing

Urban Planning chair Chris Tilly spoke to the Wall Street Journal about a steep rise in the number of U.S. workplaces where employees have started trying to organize unions. In the first half of the year, workers at 1,411 U.S. workplaces filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board, the first step in joining a union. That figure represents a 69% increase from the same period in 2021 and the most of any year since 2015. The story also cited a Gallup poll last year that found that 68% of Americans approve of unions, the highest share since 1965. Still, the share of American workers who belong to unions — roughly 10% — remains low by historical standards. Economists say workers, whether in unions or not, are benefiting from a significant labor shortage in some industries where employers are struggling to fill open positions. “Tight labor markets certainly are conducive to organizing and to workers having more leverage in general,” Tilly said.


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