Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

22 January 2011

Decline of Labor Unions Continues

In 2010, the number of union members in the government sector outnumbered those in the private sector by 7.6 million to 7.1 million.  The union rate for the private sector employees was 6.9%, compared to the huge government sector rate of 36.2%.  Among all jobs, union members decreased from 12.3% in 2009 to 11.9% in 2010 due to a loss of 612,000 union members.  These losses should continue since union membership is highest among those workers who are 55 to 64 years old and lowest among workers who are 16 to 24 years old.  Because unions have been such a strong force for socialist programs and special interest programs in government, this decline is a very good thing.  Unfortunately, this decline has made them more desperate and as we saw in the general elections of 2008 and 2010, the unions are willing to spend huge sums to push the government in the direction of socialism and a greater play of factions.

The highest union membership was among local government employees with a rate of 42.3%.  The heavily regulated private sector industries of transportation and utilities had the highest degrees of unionization at 21.8%. and they were followed by the regulated telecommunications industry at 15.8% unionized.  Agriculture at 1.6% had the lowest rate of unionization, though financial services was also low at a 2.0% unionization rate.  Teaching had the highest degree of unionization at 37.1%.  Protective services had the second highest rate of unionization at 34.1%.

Broken down by race and ethnicity, black workers had the highest rate of unionization at 13.4%, while whites were 11.7% unionized, Asians were 10.9%, and Hispanics were 10.0% unionized.

Union membership rates rose in 17 states, but fell in 33 states and the District of Columbia.  The map below shows the distribution of unionization rates in the states:

New York has the highest unionization rate at 24.2%.  Alaska and Hawaii are next at 22.9% and 21.8%, respectively.  This is apparently because these two states have a very high ratio of government workers to private sector workers.  Washington state has a 19.4% rate, while California's rate is 17.5%, and New Jersey's rate is 17.1%.  Unionization is concentrated in the Pacific region, the Northeast, and the East North Central.  To these, Minnesota and Nevada should be added.  The high unionization rate in Nevada played a big role in the re-election of Senator Harry Reid.

It is no accident that population growth rates and state domestic product growth have generally been better in those states with low unionization rates.  The states with the fastest population growth rates from the 2000 Census to the 2010 Census are:

Nevada, 35.1%
Arizona, 24.6%
Utah, 23.8%
Idaho, 21.1%
Texas, 20.6%
North Carolina, 18.5%
Georgia, 18.3%
Florida, 17.6%
Colorado, 16.9%
South Carolina, 15.3%

Of these states only Nevada has a high unionization rate.  People generally migrate to those states which have the best job growth.  The unions are much better at destroying jobs than creating them.

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