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  • snitzoid

Labor unions on the way out?

Back in the 1950s, a full third of all US jobs were union.

Since then a thriving economy has put most Americans in a position where they have many alternatives if they don't like their employer. Paying a substantial share of their paycheck to a union that they perceive does little is no longer necessary. Without unions they have more $$ to put in their checking account.

The exception to this is government workers. A full third of Federal workers are represented by public sector labor unions. Why is this? No idea. It has nothing to do with the fact that in a typical year unions make direct and indirect political contributions over $600 million. Shocker, 85+% of that went to Democrats. By the way, in 2022 the average federal worker may approx $100,000/yr vs $75,000 for the private sector. Again, I'm a a complete loss to explain.


The share of US workers who are members of a union has fallen again, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — hitting a new low of just 1 in 10 employees being unionized in 2023, slightly down from 10.1% the year before.

While union membership has been in decline for decades, last year saw a historic number of long-running strikes, with everyone from Hollywood actors, to auto workers, to Starbucks baristas joining their union’s respective picket line, as public approval of labor unions hovered near 50-year highs.

Although many of these strikes resulted in wins for unions — with total union membership actually increasing by ~100k from the year before — this was not enough to outpace the wider growing US workforce, as private sector union membership continued to shrink. Indeed, the membership rate of public-sector workers (32.5%) was reported to be more than 5x the rate of private-sector workers (6.0%) last year.

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