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Most US adults say decline in union membership bad for the country: Pew

Most US adults say decline in union membership bad for the country: Pew

A majority of adults in the United States said the decline in union membership is bad for the country, according to a survey conducted earlier this year.

The Pew Research Center poll found that 54 percent of surveyed U.S. adults believe the decline in union membership is bad for the country. Another 59 percent said that the decline is bad for working people, the survey found.

Union membership has been decreasing in the U.S. in recent years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the union membership rate at 10 percent in 2023, which is slightly down from 10.1 percent in 2022. Pew noted that union membership has dropped significantly since 1983, when about 20.1 percent of American workers were in a union.

The recent survey found partisan differences in how the decline of membership affects the country and working people. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in the survey said the decrease in membership has been somewhat or very bad for the country, while 40 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the same.

Similarly, 74 percent of surveyed Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said it was somewhat or very bad for working people, while 43 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the same.

Instead, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents were more likely to say that the decline in union membership was good for the country and working people. Fifty-eight percent said the drop in membership was somewhat or very good for the country, and 55 percent said the same about working people.

The survey was conducted Jan. 16-21 among 5,140 U.S. adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.

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