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Public-sector unions now account for more than half of union members, while the private sector accounts for less than half.  Why has this change occurred?

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The decline in union membership outside of the public sector is the result of many factors. Certainly, global competition in manufacturing has resulted in fewer traditional blue-collar factory jobs being located in the United States. Production oriented manufacturing required the utilization of skilled labor with a mechanical aptitude that is no longer needed in many industries. A good example is the auto industry, which has replaced union jobs with robotic technology or has shifted production to foreign countries where unionization is not a factor. Technology increasingly is the driver for the decline in private sector union memberships.

Globalization has impacted the agricultural industry as well. Many of the agricultural products purchased by US consumers are grown outside of the United States. Trade agreements with Mexico and Canada have reduced the cost of...

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