Mar 10, 2011 6:23 PM GMT
The one conclusion that could fairly be drawn from 24/7 Wall St.’s Ten States With The Strongest And Weakest Unions is that public unions will face over the next two or three years the kind of erosion that private unions did in the last decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of public sector workers who are union members was 37.5% a decade ago and is more than 36.2% today. Local governments with low tax receipts will not be able to support current payrolls and benefits. The public worker unions will have to go to war to defend employee levels and health and pension benefits. The will of voters and legislators make it likely that the unions will lose a great deal of ground and lose it quickly.
The 24/7 Wall St analysis of public and private membership is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Unionstats.com, and the U.S. Census Bureau. We examined total union membership rates among all workers in the fifty states and also union membership ratios in the public and private sectors. Union membership overall has dropped almost entirely because of private sector losses. Public sectors’ union employees, on the other hand, have held their own.
The portion of the work population who are members of unions will continue to decline, if current events are any indication.