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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 405 -- Energy Alternatives. | WILLisms.com | Quotational Therapy: Part 123 -- Congress: If It Ain't Broke, Fix It Anyway. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 406 -- Looking For The Increasingly Rare Union Label.

Union Membership Falls... Again-

Some fresh data, from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (DOL BLS .pdf):

In 2006, 12.0 percent of employed wage and salary workers were union members, down from 12.5 percent a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of persons belonging to a union fell by 326,000 in 2006 to 15.4 million. The union membership rate has steadily declined from 20.1 percent in 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available.

An interesting factoid:

Workers in the public sector had a union membership rate nearly five times that of private sector employees.

Union members, of course, vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, or-- at best-- protectionist Republicans. Thus, each time we expand government, we are entrenching and perpetuating Democratic political power.

Another set of factoids:

State union membership levels depend on both the employment level and union membership rate. Texas (with the second largest number of employed wage and salary workers) had less than one-quarter as many union members as New York (the third largest), despite having over 1.6 illion more wage and salary employees. Similarly, Florida (with the fourth largest employment level) and Minnesota (the twenty-first) had virtually the same number of union members, even though Florida’s wage and salary employment level was three times that of Minnesota.

Okay, that's not exactly clear or succinct. So here's a visual (.pdf):


NET MIGRATION COMPARISON: 225,766 more New Yorkers moved to other states than vice-versa, from 2005 to 2006.
Texas, meanwhile, welcomed 218,745 more Americans from other states than vice-versa.

Another visual (.pdf):



4,509 more Minnesotans moved to other states than vice-versa, from 2005 to 2006.
Florida, meanwhile, welcomed 165,757 more Americans from other states than vice-versa.

Economic Performance Indicators-

In the most recent GDP growth rate postings, Texas and Florida grew 4.7% and 7.7%, respectively, while New York and Minnesota grew 2.9% and 1.9%.

Great for Texas, amazing for Florida, decent for New York, and disappointing for Minnesota.

From December 2005 to December 2006 (.pdf), Texas added 213,200 jobs, while New York added 61,200 jobs. Meanwhile, Florida added 212,600 jobs, and Minnesota added 54,200 jobs.

Good for Texas, great for Florida, terrible for New York, and not bad at all for Minnesota.

Honest Question: How many Americans realize that relatively high levels of unionization correlate with relatively poor economic performance?

Sometimes, I think: "a lot... most of them, even."

Other times, I am not so sure.

Political Impact-

While the decline of union members is already showing a moderate pro-GOP impact at the polls, I tend to believe that there is a substantial lag time between fewer union members and fewer union voters.

Why? Well, there are still many former union members (retirees, people who have been caught up in mass layoffs, etc.) out there, and plenty of formerly union-headed families, and they still eagerly pull the union-approved levers at the polls. Especially in heavily-unionized states in the Midwest, Northeast, and along the Pacific Coast. Thus, un-joining a union probably doesn't make your political behavior much different than if you had just stayed in a union for the rest of your life (unless, of course, you are un-joining in protest).

On the other hand, former Republican voters who join unions are typically lost immediately and forever to the Democrats.

Which makes the declining numbers of federal employees under the Bush administration such an important victory for future Republican majorities.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Ethanol Facts.

Posted by Will Franklin · 26 January 2007 07:30 PM


I heard Obama is using all union workers for his campaign stickers...

Posted by: zsa zsa at January 26, 2007 08:06 PM

I'll have to check out how Dearbonistan is doing with this Minnesota problem.

Posted by: madconductor at January 26, 2007 08:37 PM

Just looked at the charts you linked. Wow. Louisiana with the only (-) - what a hurricane can do for you.

Posted by: madconductor at January 26, 2007 08:42 PM

I think that the NY figure would be lower if you subtracted illegal aliens.

Posted by: chsw at January 27, 2007 09:25 PM