Employer associations are groups composed of businesses that employ workers. Associations, usually organised around a particular industry or geographic region, offer assistance and advice to employers and often attempt to promote their political interests.
Employer associations generally charge each of their members annual dues. In exchange, members receive information designed to help them improve the functioning of their business, particularly in the area of labour relations. Employer associations may also distribute information to outside parties as a way of helping the employers' position be better understood.
The interests of employer associations vary depending on their organisation and membership. Many advocate on behalf of interests innate to a particular industry or location. For example, the San Diego Employers Association advocates on behalf of San Diego businesses, while the Construction Employers' Association works on behalf of contractors.
Employer association function as a counterbalance to trade unions, helping businesses organise their resources and promote their interests. Many employer associations, including the nation's largest, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, engage in political lobbying designed to promote the passage of legislation favourable to employers.