US reports union membership was 11.1 percent last year, down a fraction from last year

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

Union membership in the U.S. is down slightly, making up just over 11 percent of the workforce last year.

That's a drop of 0.2 percentage points from the year before.

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The Labor Department says public-sector workers have the highest union membership rate at nearly 36 percent. That's more than five times higher than membership of private-sector workers at less than 7 percent.

Workers in education, training and library jobs and in protective service jobs have the highest unionization rate, at 35 percent.

Earnings were higher for union members last year, at $970 a week versus $763 a week for non-union members.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the report suggests that with 58 months of consecutive job growth, "workers made great strides and confronted great challenges."