Hispanics and Organized Labor in the United States, 1973-2007

Jake Rosenfeld, University of Washington

Using 1973-2007 Current Population Survey data, we provide the most comprehensive analysis of Hispanics and organized labor in the United States to date. After controlling for industrial, occupational and demographic predictors, Hispanics have similar odds of unionization as whites. Recent arrivals and non-citizens, however, exhibit lower unionization probabilities, suggestive of group-specific preferences against unionization, although the effects are not as substantively large as traditional structural predictors. Restricting the sample to union joiners reveals higher odds of unionization for Hispanic non-immigrants compared to whites in recent years, and lower odds for undocumented and recent migrants. Despite the highly-publicized, organizing successes of recent Hispanic immigrants, we find no evidence of an uptick in unionization rates among this subpopulation compared to other groups. Overall, variables specified in traditional structural theories are more powerful predictors of unionization than Hispanic-specific factors.

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Presented in Session 151: Race and Socioeconomic Status