Public support for labor unions has reached its highest level in a decade, with 61 percent of U.S. adults expressing approval for unions, according to a Gallup Poll released on Labor Day. That approval rate is a 5 percent increase over the previous year and the highest percentage reported since 2003, when union approval registered at 65 percent.
Support for unions has even increased among Republicans, who have generally shown lower levels of approval for labor. According to the poll, 42 percent of Republicans said they approved of unions, a sizable surge from the 2011 figure of 26 percent. Among Democrats, 81 percent approved of unions, compared with 78 percent in 2011. Support among Independents has also risen to 61 percent from 52 percent six years ago.
Unions have enjoyed widespread support in the United States for much of modern history, with approval ratings reaching a historic high of 75 percent in the 1950s.
The poll also found 39 percent of Americans want unions to have greater influence in the country — the highest figure recorded in the 18 years since Gallup began asking this question.
The Washington Post, Sept. 4
New York Daily News, Sept. 9