The Motley Fool recently discovered that buried within a June 2013 Pew report was an interesting nugget of information about Millennials and unions: 61% of young adults support unions.


For more insight on millennials and unions, the Fool interviewed Dr. Diane Frey, Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at National Labor College and Director of the Labor Studies BA Degree Program.

[Frey] says the primary reason for Millennials’ low union participation rate isn’t that young people are making the active choice to avoid signing up. Instead, she insisted, most simply do not have the option.

As the American economy has become largely post-industrial, fewer private sector jobs are unionized. ‟Some of the really decent professions that have in the past been good entry ways for new generations of workers, such as public sector teaching, are being dismantled with new disposable models where younger workers are basically sweated in programs like Teach-for-America that are not meant to be sustainable as careers,” she says.

Rates of union membership are significantly higher in the public sector than in the private firms (35% vs. 6%, respectively).