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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Aging, Shrinking Membership of Unions



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Number of workers in the U.S. workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: 155.5 million.

Number of public-sector employees who belonged to a union in 2012, according to a new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: 7.3 million.

Number of private-sector employees who belonged to a union in 2012, according to a new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: 7 million.

All told, union membership dropped by roughly 400,000 from 2011 to 2012.

Union members are also generally among the oldest members of the workforce, and/or near retirement: “The union membership rate was highest among workers ages 55 to 64 (14.9 percent). The lowest union membership rate occurred among those ages 16 to 24 (4.2 percent).”

This is an astonishingly politically powerful movement, considering how it only represents 11.3 percent of U.S. workers.


Tags: Unions


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