Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

25 January, 2007

A cloud to go with your silver lining

Bad news on the membership front:
Union membership dropped to 12 percent of U.S. workers last year, extending a steady decline from the 1950s when more than a third belonged to unions.

After membership had held steady at 12.5 percent in 2005, it declined anew last year, a decrease of more than 325,000 workers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday.

The bottom line seems to be that structural changes in the economy are snuffing out union (manufacturing) jobs faster than we can organize new workers (no new news there). Even more distressing:
The union membership rate for government workers, 36.2 percent, was substantially higher than for private industry workers, 7.4 percent.

I'd be interested to see the breakdowns by occupation and industry (my labor sociologist is yearning to come out and play) before making any sweeping judgments, but the initial indicators don't inspire confidence.



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