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Study: Organized Workers Are Happier

Jillian Otten - Monday, November 03, 2014

Could joining a union increase your overall life satisfaction? A new study claims that organized workers are happier than non-union workers.

Patrick Flavin, an assistant professor at Baylor University, and Gregory Shufeldt, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, recently set out to examine something different than workers’ wages or benefits in the United States – they chose to study workers’ happiness, specifically if being union or non-union has an effect on one’s overall life satisfaction.

Using data from the World Values Survey, a global network of social scientists who study changing values and their impact on social and political life, the report uncovered evidence that not only are union members more satisfied with their lives, but this is true across demographic groups. In other words, if you are rich or poor, male or female, young or old – being organized leads to a great quality of life across the board.

The study links labor union membership and life satisfaction in four key areas. Labor union members…

  1. Are more likely to feel secure in their jobs as compared with non-members
  2. Tend to be more satisfied with their work experience
  3. Are more likely to be involved socially with union activities, which in turn lessens feelings of loneliness or social interaction
  4. And are more interested and involved in a democratic citizenship

More: Labor Union Membership and Life Satisfaction in the United States

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