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

Credit union update

An update to my earlier skepticism about the transformative power of moving your money from a bank to a credit union (“Moving money (revisited)”). The Federal Reserve is out with the flow of funds accounts for the third quarter, its periodic detailed view of the movements of money by instrument and sector. Credit union assets rose 0.9% (not adjusted for inflation) between the second and third quarters. Consumer credit (like credit cards and auto loans) extended to members rose 0.9%, and mortgages by 0.2%. Holdings of federal agency securities, meaning mortgage-backed securities like… Read More