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Union Membership Continues to Dwindle

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Union membership in America continues to dwindle, according to new data released on Friday by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2014, the union membership rate fell to 11.1% from its 2013 rate of 11.3%.

Workers’ disaffection for unions has eroded membership for years. In 1983, which was the first year the Department of Labor compiled data on the topic, the union membership rate was 20.1%, representing 17.7 million union workers. Today, despite sizable population growth since then, just 14.6 million workers are in a union. Of those, 7.2 million individuals belong to public-sector unions and 7.4 million belong to private sector unions.

“Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (35.7 percent), more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.6 percent),” reports the Department of Labor.

New York continues to have the highest union membership rate (24.6%). The state with the lowest union membership rate was once again North Carolina (1.9%).


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