The decline in union approval in recent years has been accompanied by an increase in the percentage of Americans who prefer that unions have less influence in the future. At least 40% have held this view since 2009, including 41% this year. Prior to 2009, only as many as 32% wanted to see unions be less influential.
From 1999 to 2004, Americans' most common preference was for unions to have the same amount of influence, and from 2005 to 2008, it was for unions to have more influence.
The majority of Americans predict labor unions will become weaker in the future, as was the case last year. That has always been the most common view, but had reached the majority level only one time before last year. Currently, 21% believe unions will be stronger in the future, and 22% predict no change in their strength.