As Labor Day approaches, a narrow majority of Americans continue to say labor unions have a positive effect on the way things are going in the United States. Most Americans also say the long-term decrease in the percentage of workers represented by unions is bad for working people in the U.S., and for the country as a whole, according to recent Pew Research Center surveys.
As of July, 55% of U.S. adults say labor unions have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country, unchanged from August 2019, the last time the Center asked this question. While the overall figure has remained the same, Democrats have become more likely – and Republicans less likely – to say unions have a positive effect.
Around three-quarters of Democrats and independents who lean to the Democratic Party (74%) now say labor unions have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country, up from 66% in August 2019. The share of Republicans and GOP leaners who say unions have a positive effect has fallen from 44% to 34% during that span. Democrats and Republicans have diverged in their views of several other institutions since 2019, too.