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Unions in trouble

January 28, 2013: 5:34 PM ET

The slow, steady decline of unions continued in 2012, when membership shrank by nearly 400,000.

States kept chipping away at unions' power, with the latest blow coming in Michigan, where workers at union-represented employers can now forgo paying dues.

CNNMoney takes a look at unions' recent troubles:

Membership peaked in 1953 and is now at its lowest level in nearly a century.

130128074741-union-membership-over-century-chart-blog

Women bore the brunt of the decline.

130128074305-women-union-jobs-chart-blog

Unions remain more prevalent in government than in private industry.

130128074657-union-membership-public-private-chart-blog

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About This Author
Tami Luhby
Tami Luhby
Senior writer, CNNMoney

Tami Luhby is a senior writer at CNNMoney and covers income inequality, state fiscal problems, unemployment, housing policy and other economic issues. Luhby previously covered personal finance for Newsday and banking for Crain's New York Business.

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