Feb 6, 2024 - News

Charted: Iowa's rocky unionization rate

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Iowa had 70,000 fewer workers represented by unions last year than in 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why it matters: Unions strengthen the middle class, grow the economy and have led to improved workplace safety, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

By the numbers: Iowa had 107,000 employees represented by unions last year, down almost 40% from 2000.

  • The overall share of Iowa's employed workers represented by unions fell six percentage points during that time to 7.2%.

Yes, but: There's been some rebound since 2019 when 6.3% of Iowa workers, or roughly 97,000 people, were represented by unions.

What's happening: Republican lawmakers drastically reduced the number of issues public employee unions could negotiate with state and local governments in 2017, which the Iowa Supreme Court upheld in 2019.

  • They also disallowed union dues of government employees from being paid through payroll deductions.
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