The share of American workers in unions fell to 10.7 percent in 2016 (down from 11.1 percent in 2015), the lowest level on record, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (pdf).
What we’re seeing is a return to the downward trend for organized labor after membership figures had stabilized in recent years—and this is before the new Republican administration even took office.
Union membership in the private sector fell by 119 thousand and the membership rate fell 0.3 percentage point to 6.4 percent. There was a slightly larger decrease in union membership in the public sector (down 121 thousand), corresponding to a 0.8 percentage-point drop in the public sector membership rate to 34.4 percent.
Although public sector workers are more likely than their private sector counterparts to be union members, there are still more private-sector union members (7.4 million) than public-sector…
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