Union membership remained unchanged at 11.3 percent in 2013, but there was a slight increase in the number of unionized workers in the private sector for the first time since 2009, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Tuesday.
Job losses in the public sector, once a bright spot for union growth, have taken a toll on unions. Unions lost roughly 120,000 public-sector members in 2013, a 1.6 percent drop from 2012, the report said.
But in the private sector, where employment grew by more than 2 million in 2013, the report said unions picked up 280,000 members, a 4 percent bump, as construction and manufacturing, among other industries, saw recovery from the recession.
AFL-CIO General Counsel Craig Becker called the gains “good news.”