Union membership fell to its lowest rate since 1916 last year, dropping to 11.3% of the...

Union membership fell to its lowest rate since 1916 last year, dropping to 11.3% of the workforce from 11.8% in 2011, a BLS report shows. The number of members fell 400,000 to 14.3M even as overall employment increased 2.4M. The reasons for the decline include new laws that reduced the power of unions in Wisconsin, Indiana and other states, and the growth of the service sector, where organized labor has a small presence.

Comments (12)
  • Bret Jensen
    , contributor
    Comments (14042) | Send Message
    Now if we only bring this efficiency to govt.
    24 Jan 2013, 05:58 AM Reply Like
  • davidingeorgia
    , contributor
    Comments (2661) | Send Message
    Getting rid of public sector unions so that incompetent/lazy bureaucrats can be demoted or fired would help a lot. Even FDR, the father of the American welfare state, thought letting public sector employees unionize was a crazy idea. I doubt politicians will ever have the courage to do it, but the math of reality will take care of it eventually if they don't.
    24 Jan 2013, 06:18 AM Reply Like
  • toddzila
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    Hello 14 hour days, seven days a week!
    24 Jan 2013, 06:23 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3498) | Send Message
    As CEO's pay goes up.............
    24 Jan 2013, 06:37 AM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (5157) | Send Message
    Better than 6 hour days with perpetual 3-4% COLAs (despite how the government or company's financial situation is) or where you get paid you hourly wage even if they can't find work for you (see UAW job bank)
    24 Jan 2013, 08:27 AM Reply Like
  • Mobywhite
    , contributor
    Comments (409) | Send Message
    We have very strong labor laws to prevent that. That is why union membership has been going down since the 70's. The only person that is helped by unions is the members but it's to the detriment of the businesses and the consumers of the goods and services provided by those businesses.
    24 Jan 2013, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
    , contributor
    Comments (5123) | Send Message
    they forgot all the businesses that went out of business because of the unions...
    24 Jan 2013, 07:23 AM Reply Like
  • mickmars
    , contributor
    Comments (1312) | Send Message
    Unions AND you can't have "free trade" with China and other countries that have no OSHA/Environmental/Labor laws. Now our manufacturing jobs are gone for good. Those jobs built the middle class.
    24 Jan 2013, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • kwm3
    , contributor
    Comments (2454) | Send Message
    From my union experience, I found it to be beneficial to employer and employee alike. Teamster at UPS in college. High wages to the worker. Steady, reliable, and hard working employees for the employer (due in whole or part to the high wage drawing more quality individuals). If you've ever worked in a restaurant, nonunion, the workforce is highly unreliable, constantly revolving (many man hours spent interviewing and training, only to have them leave in 6 months).
    24 Jan 2013, 09:39 AM Reply Like
  • Mobywhite
    , contributor
    Comments (409) | Send Message
    KWM3, you are dreaming if you think unions are beneficial to employers. If they were, they wouldn't be shrinking so fast.


    Don't kid yourself.
    24 Jan 2013, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • gjricci3
    , contributor
    Comments (30) | Send Message
    Personally, I feel our taxpaying, voting constituency, which this article has shown is approximately 90% non-union, doesn't have the huevos
    to force all union isues to the point of strikes!


    Strikes are what shows just how far, and out-of-touch these
    incestuous folks are with the money we give them.


    I'm just asking for a 30% rollback in wages, and benefits.


    In the end, we always know where they work, and how they do it....


    They are easy targets for persuasion as they walk picket lines.


    An 80 y/o driver with bad eyesight runs over a whole flock of teachers, for example.


    Whatever it may take....they can be persuaded to accept what the
    taxpayer wants. We love what you do for us. We don't feel we have to pay a ransom to have it.


    We certainly don't need family people working hazardous jobs...


    Rogues, and lead-traders, for $60K/year. No overtime for State police, or local police. Fixed disability pensions at 25% of take home pay.


    Many, many more police funerals. No more teachers contracts outside the local budgeting process!


    C'mon people....hire more Mexicans for at least half the price.


    They can't do any worse a job for way less money!!!!


    Let's have this war starting today.


    Adopt civilian review boards, and cancel admistrative leave practices, double-dipping on wages, and disability pensions, and cancel automatic arbitration.
    24 Jan 2013, 08:07 AM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (843) | Send Message
    As it should be, since job conditions are much, much better than existed in 1916. Interesting that many of the most dangerous (and important) jobs were never unionized. Like fishing, farming, oil drilling, logging, etc. It is a testament to the demotivating effect of union organization. It's gotten so bad that many public sector employees are just working toward their pensions, and little else.
    24 Jan 2013, 09:58 AM Reply Like
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