Aug 30, 2022 - Economy

Poll: Union popularity hits 57-year high

Data: Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals

Unions haven’t been this popular since the 1960s, according to a new Gallup poll.

The big picture: The low unemployment rate has helped shift the balance of power between workers and employers, laying the groundwork for the recent union formations at corporate giants like Starbucks and Amazon.

  • And before that, the pandemic highlighted the difficult conditions facing essential workers — like those in food service and healthcare.

What they're saying: "U.S. workers see unions as critical to fixing our nation’s broken workplace — where most workers have little power or agency at work," wrote the Economic Policy Institute Tuesday in response to the Gallup poll findings.

By the numbers: About 71% of Americans say they approve of unions, up from 64% pre-pandemic and a low point of 48% in 2009, the polling found.

What we're watching: The Federal Reserve is on a mission to crush inflation — which is expected to send the unemployment rate back up a bit.

The big question: Whether that'll shift the power balance back toward employers.

Go deeper