Jan 23, 2020

Labor union membership declines

United Auto Workers outside the GM Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, October 2019. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Labor union membership in the U.S. continued to drop in 2019, new data released Wednesday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

The big picture: Amid this slight dip in union membership — which decreased 0.2% from 2018 — the United Auto Workers led the largest demonstration by any union against any U.S. business since UAW's last strike against General Motors in 2007.

What they're saying: 51% of Americans said in 2018 that decreasing union representation is "mostly bad for working people in the U.S.," according to Pew Research, while 35% said it has been "mostly good."

Where it stands: Public-sector workers' union membership has continued to be five times higher than private-sector workers, BLS reported, and men have a slightly higher membership rate than women.

  • Nonunion workers took home median weekly earnings that were 81% of union members' earnings.

Of note: Over half of the 14.6 million union members recorded in 2019 lived in just seven states — California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio and Washington.

Go deeper: Unions shrink fast in swing states

Go deeper

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd outside the CNN Center on May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protestors.

Why it matters: The incidents show how easy it can be for the media to entangled in the stories they cover, especially during a time of civil unrest.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.