Union Membership Falls Faster in Connecticut than in U.S.

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The decline of unions, a generations-long trend in America, continued in 2012, as just 11.3 percent of all workers are union members. Their ranks fell by .5 percent from the previous year.

The data was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday.

In Connecticut, 14 percent are union members — falling from 16.8 percent in 2011. If you include people represented by a union, but who don’t pay dues, the proportion of unionized Connecticut workers is 15.1 percent.

That’s a drop from 272,000 jobs in 2011 to 232,000 in 2012.

“The only people who should enjoy these numbers are the 1 percent,” said Larry Dorman, spokesman for AFSCME Council 4, the largest union that represents state workers.

“I think we’re living in a time of sustained attacks against unions, and I think that no one should celebrate the fact that middle class living standards are declining.”

Government workers — teachers, police officers, prison guards, office workers and more — were far more likely to be union members than private-sector workers. Nationwide, 35.9 percent of government workers were in a union, while just 6.6 percent of private-sector workers were.

Of all people with full-time jobs, 12.5 percent are in unions.

For full-time workers in a union, the median wage was $943 a week, or about $49,000 a year.  The median marks the midpoint of a distribution, where half make more and half make less.

For full-time workers who aren’t in a union, the median wage was $752 a week, or about $38,600.

The difference isn’t just influenced by bargaining power — unions are more common in bigger companies, which pay more.

“There’s a direct correlation between the drop in middle-class living standards and the decline of unionization,” Dorman said. “That decline in unionization really has negative and troubling implications for the economy at large.”


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6 thoughts on “Union Membership Falls Faster in Connecticut than in U.S.

  1. art

    i dont know a single union member who is not in govt or public education. Maybe that is why the pay is higher as govt and public ed now make more than private counterparts..in some cases far more

  2. sue

    Art is correct. The only other sector which has high union numbers at the public utilities which are nothing more than an extension of the public sector. Most other union companies are shutting down and moving out. Just look at how many union jobs have disappeared at UTC over the years. And I love the comment Larry Dorman. It’s the same old talking point. Remember Larry pal, DANNY BOY AND BARRACK raised taxes on the MIDDLE CLASS – THE 99%

  3. Mary

    Missing from this article is the information that most state workers have a choice about union membership: they can join and pay dues or not join and still pay dues. No real point in opting out because either way they take the dues out of your paycheck. While you have a large population of workers who are counted as union members because of their dues, you don’t really know what membership would look like if they were actually free to choose.

  4. ignats

    Soon there will be no unions anywhere. Who are the union bashers going to blame when the wages are low, the benefits are next to useless and the companies dictate daily to the workers. If you don’t believe me try working at one of the state’s two casinos. I’ve seen people with many years get laid off and a person with realtively few years stay. I know they are sovereign nations but that’s what it will be like in the entire state. Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.

  5. Ed

    If unions are so gosh darn wonderful, then why must people be forced against their will by a state law that mandates they pay union dues whether they want to or not?

    And why when workers are finally given a freedom of choice do roughly have of the union members terminate their union membership as soon as they are given the freedom to do so like just happened with the state employees in Indiana and Wisconsin?

    If you listen to these union leaders, you would think people are desperate to sign up instead of the truth that most union members only belong because they are forced against their will as a condition of employment or in the case of state employees–mandated by state law.

  6. Boots

    Evidentially Art doesn’t know any UPS drivers. Try asking them how much money they make and how much it costs them for their health & pension benefits.

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