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Majority of union members now work for governments

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The percentage of U.S. workers who belong to labor unions dipped to 12.3% last year, down from 12.4% in 2008, according to a new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Union membership has bottomed out near 12% in recent years after a steady 50-year decline.

More noteworthy: For the first time in history, the number of unionized public-sector workers exceeds the number of private-sector union members, despite the fact that there are five times more workers in the private sector. BLS reports that 15.3 million workers are in unions today, and 52% of them work for a government entity. Three times more union members now work in the post office than in the auto industry.

Percentage of workers in unions

1945       38%
1965       28%
1985       18%
2005       13%
2009       12%

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