Union Membership Drops to 97-Year Low


The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the total number of union members fell by 400,000 last year, to 14.3 million, even though the nation’s overall employment rose by 2.4 million. The percentage of workers in unions fell to 11.3 percent, down from 11.8 percent in 2011, the bureau found in its annual report on union membership. That brought unionization to its lowest level since 1916, when it was 11.2 percent, according to a study by two Rutgers economists, Leo Troy and Neil Sheflin.

Labor specialists cited several reasons for the steep one-year decline in union membership. Among the factors were new laws that rolled back the power of unions in Wisconsin, Indiana and other states...

In other words, union members were given the choice for the first time, and many chose to drop out of unions.

...the continued expansion by manufacturers like Boeing and Volkswagen in nonunion states...

Now, why would that be happening?

...and the growth of sectors like retail and restaurants, where unions have little presence.

Underemployment McJobs -- one of the few growth sectors in the Obama economy.