New Study Illustrates the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on New York City Workers and Union Members
State of the Unions 2020
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on labor markets worldwide. In the U.S., millions of workers have been furloughed or laid off in both unionized and non-union sectors. New York is no exception. In the early phases of the pandemic, New York City was the national epicenter due to its high population density, extensive reliance on public transportation, high rates of poverty and poor access to health care. The initial delays in responding by government officials, as well as the limited availability of testing, compounded these problems. An estimated 6,000 working age (18-64) New Yorkers have died from COVID-19, among nearly 24,000 in the city’s population. Although unionized workers were less likely to lose their lives to the virus than the general workforce, for some unions and sectors the impact has been devastating. CUNY SLU’s annual State of the Unions 2020, A Profile of Organized Labor in New York City, New York State, and the United States, presents data on confirmed COVID cases and deaths, as well as layoffs and furloughs, among members of some of New York City’s largest unions as of July 2020, and analyzes the pandemic’s effect more broadly on New York’s labor market. Read the full report here.
A Transit Workers Survival Story
And for an in-depth look at how the pandemic is impacting union workers, read this piece on Terence Layne, an MTA bus driver and former SLU student.
State of the Unions 2019
New Study Shows that Organized Labor Remains Far Stronger in New York City and State than in the Nation, but Union Erosion Contributed to Disproportionately Low-Wage Job Growth
Ten-years after the Great Recession of 2008, employment has rebounded in New York City and New York state (the unemployment rate was 4.0% for the state in July 2019). However, this job growth has been disproportionately concentrated in low-wage industries, especially in the private sector, according to a report released by the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. The report, State of the Unions 2019, A Profile of Organized Labor in New York City, New York State, and the United States, conducted annually, reveals that in recent decades, losses in union membership have been disproportionately concentrated in the private sector, a trend that accelerated after the Great Recession. By contrast, in the public sector, union density has been relatively stable in the City, while declining slightly over the past few years in the U.S. and New York State.
See the report here.