(The Center Square) – The percentage of hourly and salaried workers in a union decreased in 2023, continuing a trend of ongoing decline in the past few decades.
The decline in 2023 was small, from 10.1% of the workforce to 10% even, but the trend is significant. In 1983, about 20% of hourly and salaried workers were in a union, meaning U.S. union membership has halved in about four decades.
While unions did add 139,000 more members last year, their overall share of the labor market decreased as the number of new non-union jobs outpaced union job growth. “Increasingly, Americans realize they can negotiate their own workplace terms without handing over part of their hard-earned paycheck to a union boss who probably doesn’t even know their name,” Ashley Varner of the Freedom Foundation told The Center Square. “Government employee unions are highly political organizations that aren’t held accountable to a