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Whistlin’ Dixie

Data released in January by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there was a slight dip in union membership in the South in 2016. Overall, membership dropped in 9 of 13 Southern States.

South Carolina and North Carolina hold the seats of states with the lowest unionization percentages at 1.6% and 3.0% of private sector workers unionized, respectively.

Union Membership Drops Again

As we reported earlier when the Bureau of Labor Statistics first released their report, union membership fell again this year, down to 10.7% for total membership, and 6.4% for private sector employees. Some have chastised Big Labor for continuing to squander union dues dollars on a single political party, much to the distaste of union members who do not align with their union’s political bent. Others have suggested that unions need to move away from trying to organize a large body of employees (such as the latest failed organizing attempt at Boeing), and instead focus on small carve-out segments of the employee population – the micro-unit approach.

Unions Urban Impact

It’s no big secret that in the grand scheme of things union membership is dying out. Over the past 45 years there has been a steady decline from 1 in 5 U.S. workers being unionized to just over 1 in 10. But just because unions are on the decline doesn’t mean their authority has entirely diminished. Click here for a deep dive into why this might be the case, as well as run-through of the 14 cities with the strongest unions today. Some are more surprising than you might guess.

Are You Unemployed?

This is a pretty amusing parody on the flaws of BLS statistics, in this case how the unemployment rate statistics dramatically understate true unemployment. There are plenty of other BLS statistics that could use a reality check – like the numbers comparing union wages to non-union workers (a statistic repeated virtually every time unions talk about the advantages of unions). These statistics overstate the actual differences in wages and benefits for unionized workers by ignoring things like regional differences, actual earning (excluding things like union dues, layoffs, etc.) or length of service. Maybe we’ll have to work on our own parody…