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The Decline of Union Membership

Union membership has been on the decline for over two decades and doesn't appear to be slowing. A recent press release from the DOL shows that in 2014 union membership rate declined over the past year by .2% ending at 11.1% of all workers. Public sector unionization rates were still flat at 35.7%. Those who were union members earned approximately 10K annually over those who were not union members. The decline is part of a larger trend in the American economy. According to a study released in 2013 by the Pew Research Center there has been a decline from the 20% in 1983 to 11.3% in 2013. Public attitude has shifted among regions. The Northeast and Midwest, with its once all powerful manufacturing base, greatly supported unions by 74% but that has declined in recent years to 65%. The culture of the United States is shifting away from unions. We learn that not only has manufacturing shifted to Southern states but also attitudes toward unions have also shifted. The south has not