Archive for January 24th, 2023

What percentage of American workers are unionized?

January 24, 2023

Place your bet before reading on…

Some interesting numbers from the most recent BLS “Union Members Summary”:

> The union membership rate — the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions — was 10.1% in 2022

That’s down slightly  from the 10.3% in 2021 … but half the 20.1% rate in 1983 — the first year where comparable union data was collected and reported


> In 2022, 30% of the 14.3 million union members lived in just two states: California (2.6 million) and New York (1.7 million).


> The union membership rate of public-sector workers (33.1%) is more than five times higher than the 6% rate for private-sector workers.


> The highest unionization rates in 2022 were 34.6% in “protective service occupations (think: police & fire) and 33.7% in education (think: public school teachers)


> Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly earnings 18% higher than nonunion workers ($1,216 to $1,029).

But, those wage differentials are largely attributable to the concentration of union workers in high cost-of-living states (i.e. CA, NY and NJ).


For the record, I pegged the unionization rate way high at 20% to 25%.

How did you do?


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