Unions representing government workers are gaining

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Associated Press

Posted on July 4, 2014 at 10:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unions representing government workers are expanding while organized labor has been shedding private sector members over the past half-century.

A majority of union members today now have ties to a government entity — at the federal, state or local levels.

Roughly 1-in-3 public sector workers is a union member, compared with about 1-in-15 for the private sector workforce last year. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall, 11.3 percent of U.S. wage and salary workers are unionized, down from a peak of 35 percent during the mid-1950s.

The typical union worker now is more likely to be an educator, office worker or food or service industry employee rather than a construction worker, autoworker, electrician or mechanic. Far more women than men are among the union-label ranks.

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