A new study from the Institute for Policy Studies has found that union membership is declining in the US.
A survey of 2,300 union members conducted by the institute in February found that more than a quarter (27%) had quit their jobs in the past year.
More than half (56%) said they had given up on the labor movement entirely, with more than half of those (53%) saying they had quit before the election.
The study, entitled “The Decline of the American Union,” found that only one in five Americans had a union membership, a figure that was unchanged from the last year.
Among those who did have a union, the rate of union membership was down to 6.3% from 7.3%.
The Institute for Change, an advocacy group that is not affiliated with the Institute, commissioned the study and noted that the findings were consistent with other research.
“While unions are losing membership, they are also gaining new members, and are seeing a rapid rise in membership among younger people and minorities,” the group said in a statement.
“Unions have not only been a pillar of the middle class, but also of the progress that the country has made since the 1930s.”
The study also found that members of unions are more likely to be white, young and in college than their non-union counterparts.
Unions have been an important part of the working class for generations, as they have fought for social and economic rights.
“In the past, unions were seen as the backbone of a union movement, representing working people in their efforts to protect their jobs, rights and dignity,” the institute said.
“But as a group, members of unionized workplaces are much more likely than non-unions to see their workplace as the workplace of their choice.”
The Institute for the Future, another advocacy group, found that among people who have been employed for at least six years, union membership declined in the years before the Great Recession.
Among the people who had been employed full time for more than seven years, unions grew from 1.9% to 4.2%.