The death of unions has been predicted time and again.
Each time a new round of statistics come out, we (me included) try to make some sense of it.
Just check out some of my posts from the last several years.
- In 2008: Are Unions Dying Off? Not Yet, Say New U.S. Department of Labor Statistics
- In 2011: Unions are a Dying Breed. Or They’re Making a Comeback.
- In 2015: Labor Union Membership Up Big Locally and Down Nationally, Recent Statistics Show
So, a few weeks back, a new round of statistics was released.
And once again, the latest numbers show big gains for unions in the state. In 2013, union representation stood at just 220,000 people (or 14.3 percent of the workforce). By 2015, that number jumped to 277,000 (or 17.4 percent of the workforce).
That represents an increase of nearly 25 percent over the last two years.
Last year, the agency cautioned that the change may not be as large as it appears because “Connecticut has a small sample size in the survey” (according to a Hartford Courant report).
Indeed, Connecticut private businesses expanded employment across all sectors in 2015 by adding 22,600 jobs. So, the statistics make it seem that nearly all of that gain (and the loss of 400 jobs from the public sector) went to unions.
Something doesn’t add up.
Nevertheless, I think it’s fair to conclude that the unions in the state are more than holding their own in Connecticut.
Nationally, union membership rate stands at 11.1 percent — unchanged from 2014, but down from 20.1 percent since 1983.