The number of U.S. adults who approve of labor unions continued to increase in 2022, according to a Gallup report published August 30.

Nearly three-in-four (71%) respondents in 2022 said they approve of labor unions, a three-point increase from last year. This is the sixth year in a row that support has risen, and it is the highest level of union approval since 1965.

Support for unions was at 72% in 1936 when Gallup first polled the nation on this topic, falling to 61% by 1941 before rising to an all-time high of 75% from 1953 to 1957. Approval of labor unions gradually declined during the next five decades, falling to an all-time low of 48% approval in 2009. Since then, support has steadily increased.

Most (84%) respondents were not a member of a labor union, while 6% were members, 7% had a member of their household who was a member, and 3% were members along with a someone else in their household.

Respondents who are part of a union were asked to share the reasons for their membership, with 65% saying better pay and benefits, 57% employee representation / rights, 42% job security, 34% better pension / retirement, 25% improving the work environment, 23% fairness and equality at work, 9% health and safety, and 3% positive effect on the nation.

Women (74%) were more likely than men (68%) and Democrats (89%) were more likely than both Independents (68%) and Republicans (56%) to express approval of labor unions. The differences in responses based on age, education level and race were statistically insignificant, as they were all within the margin of error.

The full report is available here. The topline results, noting a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points, is available here.

Share This