Nov 17, 2022 - Economy

Growing number of professional workers support unions

Change in support of a union at work
Note: Latest data from August 2022 survey of 1,828 nonunion professionals; including 193 tech professionals; 286 health care professionals; 620 21-34-year-olds; and 273 education professionals.

In a survey six years ago, 56% of health care workers said they would support a union at work. Then came COVID.

The latest: Now, 71% of these workers said they'd support such efforts, according to a survey of more than 1,800 nonunionized professional workers conducted in August and released this week from the AFL-CIO, the U.S. labor federation.

Why it matters: Union popularity is at a 57-year-high in the U.S. — but here's a sign that organizing is increasingly viewed positively among a set of workers that's historically been less likely to organize. Less than half of union members in the U.S. are professionals.

By the numbers: Support for unionizing rose to 65% from 60% among all professionals, defined as those with at least an associate's degree who hold a job where a degree is required.

  • Among tech workers, support for unions has been gaining ground for more than a decade, from just 33% in 2005 to 62% in 2022, according to the AFL-CIO's survey data.
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