Sixty-eight percent of Americans approve of labor unions, the highest level of approval in over 57 years, according to Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll. Americans’ approval of unions has been increasing over the last few years and is now at its highest point in more than half a century.
Gallup has been conducting surveys on labor unions since 1936; this year, Gallup measured the highest level of support since 1965 (71%). On average, more Americans approve of unions than disapprove — 2009 was the only year that approval for unions fell below majority level (48%).
Support for unions is highest among Democrats (90%), union members (86%), younger Americans between the ages of 18-34 (77%), and people with incomes under $40,000 a year (72%). Over half of Independents favor unions (66%), and Republicans are least likely to approve of them (47%).
Despite this approval rating, only 9% of U.S. adults report they are part of a union. Another 8% of U.S. adults say they live with a union member. Union members are more likely to have higher incomes than non-union workers: one in 10 adults with household incomes of $40,000 or more are union members.