Item Open AccessDataset for "De-unionization and the wages of essential workers"(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Walke, AdamA definition of essential industries based on recent federal government guidelines is used to trace out the trajectory of wages for essential and nonessential sectors over time in the United States. This retrospective approach is justified by the fact that the included industries provide goods and services that are essential to health and safety whether or not emergency conditions exist. Union density has been consistently higher in essential industries, but the percentage of nonunionized workers has also increased more rapidly in those industries. The data show that real wages in essential industries have declined relative to nonessential industries since 1983 and that essential industries have consistently had lower levels of wage inequality than their nonessential counterparts. Regression analyses suggest that uneven de-unionization can explain part of the decline in relative wages. Furthermore, higher rates of union coverage in essential industries likely contribute to their comparatively low levels of wage inequality.