The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) latest Union Membership Summary spells bad news for Big Labor: only 10.1% of the U.S. workforce held a union job in 2022—down from 10.3% in 2021. 

The report also revealed Hawaii (21.9%) and New York (20.7%) are the most unionized states while South Carolina (1.7%) and North Carolina (2.8%) had the lowest rates of unionized workers.

Per BLS, this is the lowest rate of unionized workers ever recorded since it first began tracking these figures in 1983. 

Naturally, Big Labor proponents are attributing the decline in union jobs to “union busting.” But that’s not what’s happening.

Workers, instead, are independent and seek non-unionized jobs at higher rates. Big Labor may benefit from positive media coverage and high approval ratings, but trends reveal workers aren’t receptive to their message.

While an oft-cited 2022 Gallup News report claims 71% of Americans view unions positively, most workers are disinterested in joining unions—with 58% saying they are “not interested at all.”

What’s actually happening is American workers are entering the freelance workforce—which grew from 59 million participants in 2021 to well over 60 million in 2022. (Another report from MBO Partners found the freelance economy surged to 64.6 million participants.) In contrast with the workers who entered the freelance workforce, only 273,000 American workers entered the unionized workforce. 

Why are American workers rejecting union jobs? They prefer flexible work arrangements.

As workers seek out non-unionized jobs, they’ll continue to reject restrictive work arrangements—including unionized gigs. Observers predict half of the U.S. workforce will participate in the freelance economy by 2028.

To learn more about the freelance economy, go HERE.