NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 31, 2007

Union membership decreased in 2006 -- consistent with a long-term rejection of Big Labor by American workers -- and continues a steep decline from the 1950s level of one-third of the workforce, says Ryan Ellis, executive director of the Alliance for Worker Freedom (AWF).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual report of union membership:

  • Overall union density (membership as a percentage of the workforce) declined from 12.5 percent in 2005 to 12.0 percent in 2006
  • Private sector union density fell from 7.8 percent in 2005 to 7.4 percent in 2006. 
  • Government-sector union density fell from 36.5 percent in 2005 to 36.2 percent in 2006. 
  • Some 31 states saw their union density levels decline and only four states (New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Alaska) now have union density above 20 percent.
  • Overall, there were 326,000 fewer union members in 2006 than in 2005.

"American workers have been making it clear for generations now that unions are a one-way ticket to being trapped in a cycle of dependency," says Ellis.  "Big Labor doesn't care about helping members keep their jobs and enter the ownership society -- they only care about forcing their dwindling membership to pay more dues to spend on left-wing politics."

Source: "Union Membership Plummets Across All Sectors of Workforce," Alliance for Worker Freedom, January 25, 2007.


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