Union Membership in the American Workforce

Posted on January 1st, 1970
Caption: Because of their new focus and vitality, public sector union membership surged—just as private sector union membership began a steady decline. “From the early 1960s to today, public-sector union density rose from less than 12% to around 40%; meanwhile, from the mid-1950s to today, private-sector union density declined from more than 33% to less than 10%. Also, by the year 2000, about 40% of all union members were public workers.” (Joseph E. Slater, “Public-Sector Unionism,” in Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working-Class History, ed. Eric Arnesen (New York: Routledge, 2007), 1143.)

Because of their new focus and vitality, public sector union membership surged—just as private sector union membership began a steady decline. “From the early 1960s to today, public-sector union density rose from less than 12% to around 40%; meanwhile, from the mid-1950s to today, private-sector union density declined from more than 33% to less than 10%. Also, by the year 2000, about 40% of all union members were public workers.” (Joseph E. Slater, “Public-Sector Unionism,” in Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working-Class History, ed. Eric Arnesen (New York: Routledge, 2007), 1143.)