Saturday, January 28, 2017

Latest Data Shows Union Numbers, Membership Rate Fell During Obama Years

Annual statistics released Thursday by the Department of Labor show that the national rate of union membership dropped by 1.6 percentage points over the course of the Obama presidency.

The percentage of US workers belonging to unions was 10.7 in 2016, down from 11.1 percent on a year-over-year basis. Union membership rate either dropped or remained stagnant every year under President Obama, eroding from 12.3 percent in 2009.

The absolute quantity of union members, too, was down under President Obama. In 2009, there were 15.3 million Americans belonging to unions. By 2016, that figure was down to 14.6 million–a decline of about 700,000.

The end of the years-long dip coincided with the lost of crucial support for Democrats among union households.

Exit polling showed Hillary Clinton winning union households last November by 8 percent–the slimmest margin for a Democratic nominee since 1984, when Walter Mondale was trounced by Ronald Reagan.

“Clinton’s poor performance among union households appeared to especially damage her in crucial Midwestern states,” Politico noted in November. In Ohio, for example, Clinton actually lost union households to Trump by 9 percentage points, per exit polls. Trump comfortably won the Buckeye State.

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