Location USA USA

Support for labor unions is at decade high, poll finds

Union approval is at its highest level among Americans in a decade — but still not as high as it once was.

A Gallup Poll released for Labor Day found 61% of adults in the U.S. approve of labor unions — the highest percentage since 2003, when approval was at 65%.

The 2017 approval rate is up 5 percentage points from last year and 13 points above the all-time low of 48% in 2009.

Americans have generally shown significant support for unions throughout most of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The approval rating was 71% in 1930, and it peaked in the 1950s at 75%.

A major drop in the 1970s brought it down to 55%, but approval ratings climbed slowly and steadily until 2009, Gallup’s poll history shows.

Among political parties, 81% of Democrats approve of unions — making them twice as likely as Republicans, whose approval registered at 42%, Gallup found.

More Americans, 39%, want unions to have greater influence nationally, the poll found. That’s the highest figure recorded in the 18 years Gallup has asked this question. The percentage of those who want unions to have less influence dropped to 28%, Gallup said.


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