Union approval near 50-year high

The Gallup polling organization reported Aug. 28 that 64% of Americans approve of labor unions, near the highest level in 50 years.

Since 1936, the organization has been regularly asking Americans whether they approve or disapprove of unions. Approval averaged 68% between Gallup’s 1936 and 1967 polling, but dropped somewhat after that, reaching a low of 48% in 2009.

In the most recent poll, conducted Aug. 1-14, 64% said they approve, 32% disapprove, and 5% had no opinion.

Respondents were more likely to approve of unions if they were in a union household or lean left politically: 86% of U.S. adults living in a household with a union member approve of unions, compared with 60% of those in nonunion households, and Democrats (82%) remained far more likely than Republicans (45%) to approve of unions.

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