Despite the best efforts of U.S. President Barack Obama and his goons on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), union membership continued its decline in 2012 – even as the job market modestly improved.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 14.3 million American workers were unionized last year – down roughly 400,000 from 2011. That represents 11.3 percent of the national workforce – down from 11.8 percent in 2011.

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s the lowest labor participation rate in ninety-seven years.

Private sector unionization fell from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent (7 million employees) … while public sector unionization slipped from 37 percent to 35.9 percent (7.3 million employees). Those figures are virtually flip-flopped from the 1950s, when more than 35 percent of the private sector was unionized.

“The figures announced by the bureau point to grave problems for the future of organized labor,” lamented The New York Times, “causing some labor specialists to question whether private sector unions were sinking toward irrelevance.”

We should be so lucky …

Here in South Carolina unions already are irrelevant, although that’s not stopping S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley from bashing them … and vice versa.

As we’ve noted on numerous occasions, unions “have proven to be nothing but corrupt cancers – more interested in preserving political power and perks for their leaders than protecting the best interest of the American worker.”

The private sector agrees with us … unfortunately the Obama administration is doing everything it can to keep unions in the game, most notably via the corrupt NLRB (which is currently operating with a pair of unconstitutionally appointed board members in defiance of  a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling).