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Labor union support rises in U.S., chart shows

Yahoo Finance Live's Brian Cheung breaks down the chart of the day.

Video Transcript



BRIAN CHEUNG: Time now for our Chart of the Day. And the focus on this Friday is the labor movement. A new Gallup poll showing more Americans supporting labor unions, whereas only about 48% of Americans in 2009-- if the drawing actually works here-- in 2009 supported unions. But that number has steadily increased to 71%, as of the latest read. This coming this week again from Gallup.

And Akiko, this does kind of come at a time where we're seeing a lot of major companies facing unionization. You see Amazon. We were just talking about Starbucks before the break. And this isn't, by the way, interest in joining a union. This is just kind of broad American support for the ability to unionize.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, Apple another one of those names, too. Chipotle, Trader Joe's. I mean, we've been really listing off where the support has been. But it's interesting to note, you know, a lot of the strength and this support for labor unions have really happened over the last few years. And you could argue the pandemic had a lot to do with it. You know, workers really being concerned about being able to have a say in their working conditions.

I'd be curious, though, because in many ways, you've been talking enough-- you've been talking a lot about the labor market. But did those conditions have allowed for employers to-- or employees, I should say, to have a little more leverage, right? To be at the negotiating table, to call for higher wages, better benefits. As things slow down, do they lose that leverage? And that's probably the big question in terms of where the labor movement is going from here.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah, and again, what we saw this morning isn't necessarily telling us that we're gonna fall off a cliff and reverse those trends yet. But important to remember, that 2009, that was when, you know, postcrisis, we saw the unemployment rate almost at double-digit levels. I think 9.1% around 2009 was what it was at.

And if you kind of take out the 2020 shock, it's essentially extended this trend down, right? Right before the pandemic, we were at 3.5%. And as of before this jobs report this morning, we were back at 3.5%. So all of those trends do support a labor market that favors the worker because they have choices.

If they don't like their working conditions, they can demand from their worker-- from their employers to change that. And if they don't, they can unionize. And I think that's a big part of the trend here, the macro factors at play as well. We'll continue to watch on that front.