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The decline and fall of trade unionism in the UK

Since 2010, the total number of local business units or branches registered as membership organisations has risen, from 26,110 in 2010 to 27,050 in 2019. This has been driven, in particular, by a 32% rise in the number of local units registered as professional membership organisations and a 16% rise in the number of religious organisations. Meanwhile, the number of local units registered as political organisations and trade unions have fallen from 28% and 9% respectively. Data from the Bank of England and TUC demonstrates the long-run decline in actual membership rolls for trade unions, from half of employed workers in the 1970s to fewer than one in four today.

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