Union Numbers Continue to Decline
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Union membership nationwide has hit a nearly 100-year low, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor unions lost 400-thousand members last year, falling to 11.3 million members across the country.
New York is following the national trend, with union rolls in the state declining from 24-percent to 23-percent, but the Empire State still has the highest union membership rate in the nation.
Greg David, a columnist for Crain's New York Business, says while private sector unions in New York are stronger than elsewhere, they are not what's behind the high enrollment.
"The public sector in New York is more unionized than anywhere else in the country. Three-quarters of all government workers in N.Y. belong to unions and that’ a number that's unprecedented even by states like California," he told WNYC’ Soterios Johnson.
Just over 1-in-10 Americans belongs to a labor union, compared to its peak in the 1950s, when about 1 out of every 3 workers was a union member.
Listen to the full interview above.