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The Most Unionized Industries in the U.S. | Finance


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After decades of declining power and influence, organized labor in the U.S. is making a comeback.

The COVID-19 pandemic has set off a number of shifts in the labor market that have given workers more power. Labor participation rates fell sharply early in the pandemic and still have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The Great Resignation saw millions of workers leave their jobs in search of better pay or working conditions. With the labor market still tight, employers have struggled to recruit and retain employees.

In this context, workers have been organizing at rates not seen in decades. One of the most high-profile examples is the union drive at Starbucks stores across the U.S. over the last year. Around 250 Starbucks locations have voted to unionize since the first Starbucks union formed in Buffalo, NY late in 2021. Employees at other major companies have also attempted unionization, including retail and factory workers at Apple and Amazon. And the trend extends to white collar industries like tech, academia, and media, where unionization has historically been limited.

According to the National Labor Relations Board, 1,522 votes on unionization have taken place so far in 2022. This is the highest number of union elections since 2015 and an increase of more than 50% over 2021.

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