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Union momentum remains strong despite staffing shortages in the public service

WASHINGTON –AFSCME released the following statement in response to the BLS’ annual report on union membership and earnings released today: 

“It is not a surprise to see that severe staffing shortages and job vacancies in public service have contributed to a small dip in union membership. Nor would it be a surprise if these numbers – which come from a survey and not actual membership data – have not yet caught up with the increased union enthusiasm and mobilization efforts of last year. State and local governments only reached pre-pandemic job levels at the end of 2023, and many of these new employees are just now signing their union cards. 
“Throughout last year, AFSCME worked to address staffing shortages through our successful Staff the Front Lines initiative, which recruited thousands of qualified job seekers into public service vacancies. And AFSCME will report membership growth in its annual filing with the Department of Labor in the coming weeks.” 

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