Federal labor figures show union membership in New Jersey declined between 2017 and last year.

Regional Economist Bruce Bergman with the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the percentage of Jersey's workforce in unions dropped from 16.9% to 14.9% in 2018. One suggestion for the change: "Unionization tends to be higher among older workers. By age, union membership rates were highest for workers 45 to 64."

And that older segment of the workforce is, of course, retiring, so union members are leaving their union behind.

"Younger workers tend to have lower unionization rates and that could be because of a variety of reasons," Bergman said.

Younger workers move from job to job more often and their attachment to employers tends to be less solid.

New Jersey had 587,000 union members in 2018. In addition to these members, another 52,000 in New Jersey were represented by a union on their main job or covered by an employee association or contract while not union members themselves.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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