Millennials Driving Up Union Membership

Union membership is on the rise across the U.S., helped in large part by millennials entering the workforce.

After decades of shrinking membership, labor unions in the U-S welcomed 262,000 new members last year -- three-quarters of whom were under age 35.

“We don't know if that's a new trend, the numbers are somewhat erratic, but it is certainly worth noting,” says Dean Baker at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Baker thinks protests against the Trump administration have somewhat galvanized young people.

“I think you are seeing increased activism among the young and certainly it will take different forms, but I think part of that will be increased interest in unionization,” he says.

Unlike years past, more than half of union members are doctors, lawyers, teachers, architects, and other white-collar employees.

“Trucking, the traditional areas where unions are strong, there's not much of an uptick,” says Baker.  “So what you're seeing is increased unionization numbers in technical fields, certainly government, a lot of teachers are unionized of course but other government workers as well, there's somewhat of an uptick there.”

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