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.