Thursday, January 27, 2011

Union membership at lowest level in nearly 80 years

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its annual report of union membership, and the news isn’t good for organized labor. Unions lost 612,000 members in 2010, dropping the unionized share of the work force from 12.3% to 11.9%. Union membership in the private sector fell from 7.2% to 6.9%, its lowest proportional share since the 1930s. You can read BLS’s summary here, and the full report here.

Employers may read this news as positive. I have a different take. With efforts to bolster organized labor having failed in Congress, today’s pro-union National Labor Relations Board may use these statistics to bolster their efforts to beef up organized labor. I will be very curious to see what these numbers look like after two years of pro-union regulation by the NLRB.

[Hat tip: Labor Relations Today]

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