Wednesday, 20 of June of 2018

Economics. Explained.  

Union Membership — Private vs. Public Sectors

February 3, 2017

The overall rate of union membership has been declining for years and now stands at 10.7%.

Union Membership

The unions are finding it increasingly more difficult to penetrate the private sector.  As shown below, amongst private sector workers only 6.4% belonged to unions in 2016.

Union Membership -- Private vs. Public

Unions have been far more successful in penetrating the various levels of government where the union membership rate for 2016 was 34.4% or five times as high as in the private sector.  Why have unions been so successful in the public arena?  Probably because of a perception that government workers are underpaid and, therefore, in need of union assistance in attaining their fair share of the pie.

Stephen Slifer


Charleston, SC

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