Latest BEIS national statistics on trade union membership show that around 6.2 million employees in the UK were union members in 2016, a decrease of 275,000 (4.2%) from 2015. The decrease represents the largest annual fall recorded since the series began in 1995. Current membership levels are well below the peak of over 13 million in 1979. The proportion of employees who were trade union members fell to 23.5% in 2016, from 24.7% in 2015, the lowest rate of trade union membership recorded since 1995, i.e. a decrease of 8.9%, from 32.4%. The proportion of female employees who were in a trade union was around 25.9% in 2016, compared with 21.1% for male employees.
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