Michigan lost 42,000 union members from 2011 to 2012, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's the ninth largest drop in the country, according to the report released on January 23rd.

Illinois had the largest drop, losing 75,000 union members.

Union membership in the US has dropped from 17.7 million to 14.4 million, a 19 percent drop, since 1983.

The number of union members in our state is expected to decline further, as Michigan became the nation's 23rd right to work state in 2012.

F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy told Michigan Capitol Confidential, "Our state needs the economic development and prosperity seen in the other right-to-work states. When our state succeeds so will the unions, in time right-to-work may even stop the atrophy organized labor has experienced in its own membership."

Here are the states with the biggest reductions in union members in 2012:

  1. Illinois - 75,000
  2. New York - 65,000
  3. Indiana - 56,000
  4. Missouri - 51,000
  5. Wisconsin - 46,000
  6. Pennsylvania - 45,000
  7. Connecticut - 43,000
  8. Ohio - 43,000
  9. Michigan - 42,000

- George McIntyre
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