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US Union Membership Rate Steady at Record Low, While Manufacturing Edges Up

The share of American workers belonging to labor unions held steady in 2017, matching the historic low of 10.7% set in the prior year, according to a Labor Department report Friday.

The membership rate for wage and salary employees is down from 20.1% in 1983, when the government began tracking comparable data, and from more than one-third of workers in the 1950s, according to separate figures looking further back.

While the nation’s total employment of wage and salary workers rose by 1.8 million last year, the number of union members increased by just 262,000, to 14.8 million. That’s down from 17.7 million union workers in 1983.

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