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Union Participation Just Hit a Record Low

'Fight For $15' protest in New York'Fight For $15' protest in New York
A national movement 'Fight For $15' including workers and labor unions march to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, at Columbus Square in New York, in April 2015.Photograph by Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The decade-long slide in union participation is still going strong.

Just 10.7% of workers were part of a union in 2016, according to annual statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. Not only is this number is down 0.4% from a year earlier, and the lowest rate on record, the department said in a Thursday press release.

In comparison, 20.1% of workers in 1983 were part of a union, while 13.7% of workers were part of an union when former President Barack Obama was elected for the first time in 2008.


Although labor unions largely backed then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, they may still be able to get some help (and a bolster in members) under President Donald Trump.

That’s because Trump has promised to bring production jobs back from the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. But those gains in headcount could be offset by cuts the president has pledged to make in the government sector.