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U.S. Union Numbers Continue Their Decline – Reach 100 Year Low


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its annual report on unionization data in the United States, and the numbers continue to be on the decline for unions as a whole. Membership in unions nationally dropped from 11.3 percent in 2013 to 11.1 percent in 2014. Other interesting data points in the report include:

  • Public-sector workers had a union membership rate of 35.7 percent, more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.6 percent).
  • Workers in education, training, and library occupations and in protective service occupations had the highest unionization rate at 35.3 percent for each occupation group.
  • Men had a higher union membership rate (11.7 percent) than women (10.5 percent) in 2014.
  • Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate (24.6 percent), and North Carolina again had the lowest rate (1.9 percent).
A link to the full report can be found here. Additionally, one news outlet is reporting that these numbers show a “100 year low” in U.S. Union Membership, and that article can be found here. As discussed previously on the BT Labor Relations Blog, however, union election rule changes recently issued by the NLRB will make it significantly easier for unions to organize employers in the coming years, so we could see an upswing in these numbers, at least in the private sector, in future editions of this report.

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Bureau of Labor Statistics
Union Membership
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