MADISON, Wis. (AP) — New federal data shows union membership in Wisconsin has declined nearly 40 percent since legislation was passed that gutted collective bargaining for public workers.

In 2016, the percentage of public and private workers who were union members was about 8 percent, or 219,000 people. That's down by 136,000 members since 2010 levels. The State Journal says the report by the U.S. Department of Labor shows the percentage of Wisconsin workers in unions is below the national average of 10.7 percent.

UW-Madison economist Steven Deller says the level of union membership nationally has been declining for years as manufacturing is replaced by technology that requires more capital but less manual labor.

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