Sixty-eight percent of Americans approve of labor unions. Though statistically similar to last year's 65%, the current reading is the highest Gallup has measured since 71% in 1965.
Gallup has measured the public's rating of labor unions periodically beginning in 1936 and then annually since 2001, and more Americans have expressed approval than disapproval in every reading.
Between 1936 and 1967, approval averaged 68% and included record-high 75% approval ratings in 1953 and 1957. Then, from 1972 through 2016, support eased, with few readings over 60%. This included the 48% all-time low recorded in 2009, the only time approval was below the majority level. Since 2016, approval has steadily increased and is now 20 percentage points above the historical low.
Democrats are the most approving of unions. Their latest approval of 90% is the highest it has been in the past two decades and is up seven points since last year. At the same time, Republicans' (47%) and independents' (66%) approval is essentially unchanged. Each partisan group's current approval of unions is more than 20 points higher than its lowest 2001-2020 rating.