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Posted by: Doug Henwood | January 24, 2019

Union density update: back to 1900 levels

Sam Gindin pointed me to a history of private sector union density—the percent of workers belonging to unions—going back to 1900. (They’re credit to Troy and Sheflin’ Union Sourcebook, a standard source.) No doubt these numbers are more approximate than recent ones, but here’s a striking fact: 2018’s level, 6.4%, is a hair below 1900’s level, 6.5%. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just say they’re the same.

Here’s an update of yesterday’s graph.

union density over time

Back where the 20th century started. That’s 118 years of progress for you.

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