Tags: Unions | union membership | private | public | sector

Union Membership Hits All-Time Low in US, Report Says

By    |   Friday, 23 Jan 2015 08:01 PM

Union membership continues to decline in the United States, falling to an all-time low last year, a government report shows.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report Friday shows the union membership rate was 11.1 percent last year, down 0.2 percent from the rate seen in 2012 and 2013.

The union membership rate for the public sector was 35.7 percent, and 6.6 percent in the private sector.

As of last year, there were 14.6 million people working in unions, the report shows.

One of the sharpest year-to-year drops in union membership came in Michigan: from 16.3 percent in 2013 to 14.5 percent in 2014. The decrease came in the first full year under the state's right-to-work law.

Among states, New York had the highest union membership rate, at 24.6 percent, followed by followed by Alaska, with 22.8 percent, and Hawaii, at 21.8 percent.

North Carolina had the lowest rate at 1.9 percent, followed by South Carolina, 2.2 percent, and Mississippi and Utah, each with a 3.7 percent rate.

Unions collectively added about 41,000 members in the private sector, led by industries such as construction and leisure and hospitality, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with total private-sector employment, John Schmitt, a senior economist at the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research, told The Wall Street Journal.

"The overall workforce is growing faster than the union workforce," Schmitt told the Journal.

"It’s bad news for the labor movement because it shows that they are not able to rebound. Essentially, they look like they’re stuck," Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., told the Journal.

"They don’t know how to design their appeals to a changing workforce. They’ll complain about employer opposition, but employer opposition has always been there."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Union membership continues to decline in the United States, falling to an all-time low last year, a government report shows.
union membership, private, public, sector
Friday, 23 Jan 2015 08:01 PM
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