Jan 26, 2024 - News

Michigan's unionization rate drops

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Note: Values are not seasonally adjusted; Chart: Axios Visuals

The ratio of Michigan workers who are members of a union has taken a hit the last two decades, falling from nearly a quarter in 2003 to about 13% last year.

Why it matters: Advocates say unions are a needed proponent of worker rights and compensation, while critics say unions throttle progress in the workplace.

By the numbers: Michigan also saw a small decrease in unionization rate last year, down from 2022's 14%.

  • 564,000 total employed Michiganders were union members last year, down from 589,000 in 2022, per recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Zoom out: Nationally, 10% of the workforce was part of a union in 2023, Axios' Nathan Bomey reports. That's down from 10.1% in 2022 and a high of 20.1% in 1983, the first year the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported comparable figures.

  • 14.4 million U.S. workers were union members in 2023, up from 14.3 million in 2022 — but the percentage fell because the workforce grew at a faster rate than union membership.

The intrigue: The drop came despite approval of unions in 2022 reaching its highest point since 1965, according to Gallup. It also coincides with a year of significant action for Big Labor, including:

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