As Unions Weaken So Does the Middle Class The states with the lowest percentage of workers in unionsâ€”North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texasâ€”all have relatively weak middle classes. In each of these states, the share of income going to the middle class (the middle 60 percent of the population by income) is below the national average, according to Census Bureau figures. ... As unions weakened, the lionâ€™s share of the economyâ€™s gains have gone to the wealthy. The share of pretax income earned by the richest 1 percent of Americans more than doubled between 1974 and 2007, climbing to 23 percent from 9 percent. And for the richest of the richâ€”the top 0.1 percentâ€”the gains have been even more astronomical. Their share of income quadrupled over this period, rising to 12.3 percent of all income from 2.7 percent.