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Union membership held steady last year

Private sector gains offset by losses in government

WASHINGTON — The nation’s union membership rate held steady last year. There were gains among private sector workers’ unions but they were largely offset by losses in state and local government.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of unionized workers grew by about 162,000 in 2013, to 14.5 million members. But union members still make up the same share of the workforce, 11.3 percent. That follows a steep decline in 2012 that saw unions lose 400,000 members.

There are now slightly more union members in the private sector than in government, reversing a five-year trend. The rate of union membership has been steadily declining for decades and remains at its lowest levels since the 1930s.

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