The median age of union members has increased between 2004 and 2014. Many members are in their mid-40s to early 50s. The percentage of people under 25 joining a union has fallen since 2004. This is worrying because there is a strong association between joining young and remaining a member – people who do not join a union when they are young are much less likely to join later. Recruitment of more young people is therefore crucial for the survival of the trade union movement.
Data collected by the ETUI show that across Europe, trade union members earn considerably higher wages than non-members, with a special premium for young and female workers.