From today’s Gallup News:
Labor unions continue to enjoy high support in the U.S., with 67% of Americans approving of them, similar to the elevated level seen in recent years after more than a decade of rising support. Mirroring this trend, Americans have gradually become more likely than a decade ago to want unions’ influence to strengthen and to believe unions benefit various aspects of business and the economy.
In contrast to the incremental changes seen in U.S. adults’ support of unions over time, the new poll documents an unprecedented uptick since the prior measure, in 2018, in perceptions that unions in the country will become stronger in the future than they are today. A third of Americans (34%) believe this today, compared with 19% five years ago and no more than 25% at any time in the trend since 1999.
The 67% of Americans who approve of labor unions today is down slightly from 71% a year ago but marks the fifth straight year this reading has exceeded its long-term average of 62%.
Union approval plunged to an all-time low of 48% in 2009 following the Great Recession, after which it took eight years to recover to its prior level near 60%. While approval has risen since then, it has not returned to its all-time high of 75% in the post-World War II heyday of unions in the 1950s, when workers’ union membership peaked at about 35%, according to a Pew Research Center report. Today, that figure is 8%.
The latest results are from Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll, conducted Aug. 1-23. The survey also probed Americans’ sympathies in the ongoing Hollywood writers and actors strikes, finding overwhelming majorities siding with the workers seeking higher pay and, in the case of writers, protection from losing work to AI.
Read the complete story here.