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Union Approval at 57-year High

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Union approval was at its all-time high around the end of World War II, but then began a long-term decline, but recently is rising again.  In August, a Gallup poll showed that public approval of labor unions reached 71% in 2022.  This is the highest level since 1965.  Some say recent labor activity in the wake of the coronavirus, particularly at certain well-known national companies, seems to have raised the public's perception of unions.  The current Administration has certainly worked to achieve this perception as well.

Over the last decade, public approval of unions has increased nearly 20 points. The increase in public approval has occurred even though only approximately 6% of private sector workers are union members, although 16% live in a household with at least one union member.

Although public approval for unions is high, it is interesting that the Gallup poll also shows that less than half of union members said union membership was "extremely important" to them.  Nearly two-thirds of such members said their motivation for joining was better pay and benefits, followed by employee rights and job security.  In the case of non-union workers, 58% said they are "not interested at all" in joining a union, while 11% said they were "extremely interested."

This article is part of our October 2022 Newsletter.

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