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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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