For decades, the story has been the decline in labor unions, but unions are growing again and have reached their highest level since 2015.
- In 2020, 10.8% of all wage and salaried workers were members of unions, up 0.5% from 2019, according to government statistics.
- That’s the highest mark since 2015 (11.%).
- Men were more likely than women to be in a union (11% vs. 10.5%), and the highest age cohort was 45-64 years old.
- Black workers (11.2%) were more likely to be union members than white (10.3%), Asian (8.8%), or Hispanic (8.5%) workers.
- A huge gap remains between public sector (34.8%) and private sector (6.3%) workers.
Unions lost 321,00 jobs last year, but the decline was bigger in non-union jobs, which means that being in a union offered more job security than being non-unionized.
The big challenge for organized labor in the private sector is getting workers at the nation’s biggest corporations like Amazon and Walmart unionized, but for the first time in decades, labor has seen progress in the fight for workers’ rights.
Labor also has a true champion in its corner in President Biden. With congressional Democrats poised to pass Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, millions more union jobs are on the horizon.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association