Labor Unions in the U.S.

Over the weekend, linking to a story about an Oklahoma Apple Store’s vote to unionize, I wrote, “Apple’s retail stores are exceptional, but it’s starting to look like they won’t be exceptions to the resurgence of unionization in the U.S.”

Describing the current state of union membership in the U.S. as resurgent was sloppy. The actual situation is more nuanced. Union membership remains at a historic low, per this report by Madison Hoff for Business Insider:

The union membership rate has dropped over time. In 1983, the first year with available data, 20.1% of wage and salary workers were union members. A decade later in 1993 it had fallen to 15.7%. Decades later in 2021, the rate stood at 10.3%.

But public support for labor unions is at a historic high:

Additionally, Gallup data from the Gallup’s annual Work and Education survey shows that 71% of Americans approve of labor unions in 2022, up from 68% a year ago. The share in 2022 means it’s the highest share since 1965.

This public enthusiasm for labor unions is manifesting in high-profile unionization drives at big companies like Starbucks, Amazon, and now Apple.

Monday, 17 October 2022