Planet Money
10:37 am
Tue January 29, 2013

NYT Excerpt: An Existential Crisis For U.S. Labor Unions

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:34 am

In his New York Times Magazine column this week, Adam Davidson looks at the future of organized labor. He writes:

For decades, the growth of technology and the global market has created an existential crisis for U.S. labor unions. While the country's manufacturing output continues to grow steadily, it no longer produces significant job growth. Factories compete against low-wage foreign labor by investing in automated machinery and implementing new techniques — like the aptly named Lean system, which focuses on efficient work flow — to make them far more productive. Since 2000, factories have shed more than five million jobs. Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that union membership is at a 97-year low of 11.3 percent.

Read the full column.

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