Unions Representing Government Workers Gain Ground

WASHINGTON (July 4, 2014) Unions that represent government workers are expanding while organized labor has been shedding private sector members over the past half-century.

A majority of union members now have ties to a government entity at the federal, state or local level.

Roughly 1-in-3 public sector workers is a union member, compared with about 1-in-15 for the private sector workforce last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall, 11.3 percent of U.S. wage and salary workers are unionized, down from a peak of 35 percent during the mid-1950s.

The typical union worker now is more likely to be an educator, office worker or food or service industry employee rather than a construction worker, autoworker, electrician or mechanic.

Far more women than men are among the union-label ranks.


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