Union membership trends, 1948-2012

With the new union membership numbers out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday, I’ve updated the chart we use at CEPR to keep track of long-term trends in union membership rates.

Union membership rates, 1948-2012

In historical context, last year’s numbers for both the public and private sector were in line with long-term trends. The 0.3 percentage-point drop in private-sector union density in 2012 was consistent with the long-term decline in unionization in that sector. Meanwhile, the large fall-off  in 2012 in public-sector membership still left union density in the public sector in the range where it has been for the past three decades.

Leave a Reply