Poll Shows 16-Year High in Approval of Unions

Just in time for Labor Day, new poll results have come out showing that Americans’ perceptions of labor unions continue to climb.

According to Gallup, which has been tracking Americans’ views on labor unions since the 1930s, approval of unions is at one of the highest rates in half a century. Around 64 percent of Americans approve of labor unions, up 16 percentage points since 2009. Americans have not viewed unions so highly since 2003, when the rate hit 65 percent.

Americans now have a more positive view of unions than they did in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

Gallup‘s research ties union approval ratings with the economy: when joblessness rises, respondents tend to indicate disapproval of unions. This could explain why the approval rates bottomed out during the Great Recession. 

Pollsters also believe that age is a factor. Younger respondents were more likely to approve of unions, with 67 percent of people between ages 18 and 34 responding favorably.

NTEU joins the country in celebrating the power and accomplishments of unions this Labor Day. The celebration will continue during the week of Sept. 16, when NTEU marks Labor Recognition Week, which recognizes the contributions of NTEU members as federal employees and as part of the labor movement.