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.
Women bore the brunt of the decline.
Unions remain more prevalent in government than in private industry.
The decline of union membership has been a key driver of income inequality in recent decades, a new report found.
The drop in unionization accounts for roughly a third of the growth in wage inequality among men and a fifth among women between 1973 and 2007, according to the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
The share of the workforce represented by unions declined from 26.7% in 1973 to 13.1% in 2011. This contributed MORETami Luhby - Aug 30, 2012 9:22 AM ET
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