ONLY 17 per cent of full-time employees are union members, with the percentage falling from 18 per cent in the two years to August 2018.

The new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics detail the continued decline of union membership.

AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said increased job mobility left workers less inclined to be aligned to union collectivism.

“Union membership has been on a continuous downward slide for the past few decades,” he said.

“The future of work involves high technical skills, job mobility and trade across not just State boundaries but globally.”

“New job market entrants and existing employers are more and more seeing greater benefits working directly with their employer achieving mutual benefits.”

Of the 6.7 million full-time workers in August 2018, 1.1 million reported they were union members – a drop of 320,000 since 2005.

Across full-time and part-time employees, 15 per cent reported being a member of a trade union in their main job.

“Employees who are members of a trade union are more likely to be over 40, female, and working full-time.” said Bruce Hockman, Chief Economist at the ABS.

Unlike previous data releases, the ABS did not differentiate between private sector and public sector employee union membership. The last data on private sector union membership released in 2017 indicated less than 10% were union members.