Rising union membership?

I just had a conversation with a journalist about the “rise” in Australian union membership, which she said was up 4%. It took me a while to work out that this was the absolute rise in membership. When you look at membership as a share of the workforce, the union membership rate was down from 22.7% in Aug 2004 to an all-time low of 22.4% in Aug 2005 (at this point the journalist said “damn, there goes my story”). I had a shot at outlining the reasons for the decline last year.

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