Unions are losing members on an unprecedented scale. This is demonstrated by the. In the old federal states only 21 percent of all employees are still unionised, whereas in 1980 this figure amounted to one third. Any age bracket with the sole exception of that of employees between the age of fourty and fifty has become weary of unions.
For instance, among young professionals under the age of thirty the average rate of unionisation has fallen by 11 percent since the eighties and currently stands at just about 15 percent.
However, the willingness to unionise varies in accordance with the professional category which employees form part of. The rate of unionisation of those professional groups the interests of which are represented by ver.di or similar unions is particulary low. As for civil servants, their situation is quite different with their rate of unionisation amounting to almost 40%.
Another influencing factor is company size. The more staff there is in a company, the bigger the number of unionists will be. Quite often there is not even a single unionist in very small companies with less than ten staff, whereas in companies with 500 or more staff on average one in three is member of a union.