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New data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that nearly 14 percent of wage and salary workers in America belonged to a union last year, essentially unchanged from 1998. Government workers were four times as likely to be union members as their private-sector counterparts. And one out of five African American men carried a union card - the highest rate across the major demographic groups. Union membership continued to be higher among men (16.1 percent) than women (11.4 percent), but the gap is closing. In 1983, the rate for men was 24.7 percent; women, 14.6 percent. At the BLS site, users can access data on union members by industry, occupation, and demographic characteristics. There's also comparisons of the median weekly earnings of union members versus those of non-union workers.

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