3 in 4 New Union Members are Under 35

Young people are joining unions in droves. According to new numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 260,000 new union members in 2017, and 198,000 of them were under the age of 35. That’s 76%. 

Young people are joining unions because they understand that if they don’t join together, they wouldn’t stand a chance of beating back the current damaging employment trends such as unpaid internships and a rise of part-time and contract work. Job security, decent pay, affordable health care, and secure retirement are more important now than ever considering Republican politicians’ push to end Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as we know it. 


With retirement waves and a constant threat of outsourcing, AFGE has launched our AFGE Young Organizing Unionists for the Next Generation (Y.O.U.N.G.) program to recruit young workers into the labor movement. At least 10% of AFGE members are under 35. Young workers are AFGE’s future, and the union is actively mobilizing them to become leaders and activists. 

If you are under 40 and want to join our AFGE YOUNG program, check with your local or the YOUNG coordinator for your district. You can also reach out to Caniesha Washington, Program Specialist in the Women’s and Fair Practices Departments, by phone at 202-639-6417 or email young@afge.org

Over 40 and want to be a mentor to help groom our young activists? Click here or contact Women’s and Fair Practices Departments. 

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