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Compiled by Terence K. Huwe and the staff of the IRLE Library

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BS: Union Membership - 2012

UNION MEMBERS – 2012 [23 January 2013]

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

or
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf

[full-text, 12 pages]

 

In 2012, the union membership rate--the percent of wage and salary workers who were

members of a union--was 11.3 percent, down from 11.8 percent in 2011, the U.S. Bureau

of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers belonging

to unions, at 14.4 million, also declined over the year. In 1983, the first year for

which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent,

and there were 17.7 million union workers.

 

The data on union membership were collected as part of the Current Population Survey

(CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that obtains information on

employment and unemployment among the nation's civilian noninstitutional population

ages 16 and over. For more information, see the Technical Note.

 

Highlights from the 2012 data:

 

   --Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (35.9 percent) more than

     five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.6 percent). (See

     table 3.)

 

   --Workers in education, training, and library occupations and in protective

     service occupations had the highest unionization rates, at 35.4 and 34.8

     percent, respectively. (See table 3.)

 

   --Black workers were more likely to be union members than were white, Asian, or

     Hispanic workers. (See table 1.)

 

   --Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate

     (23.2 percent), and North Carolina again had the lowest rate (2.9 percent).

     (See table 5.)

 

Industry and Occupation of Union Members

 

In 2012, 7.3 million employees in the public sector belonged to a union, compared

with 7.0 million union workers in the private sector. The union membership rate for

public-sector workers (35.9 percent) was substantially higher than the rate for

private-sector workers (6.6 percent). Within the public sector, local government

workers had the highest union membership rate, 41.7 percent. This group includes

workers in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and

firefighters. Private-sector industries with high unionization rates included

transportation and utilities (20.6 percent) and construction (13.2 percent).  Low

unionization rates occurred in agriculture and related industries (1.4 percent) and

in financial activities (1.9 percent). (See table 3.)

 

Among occupational groups, education, training, and library occupations (35.4 percent)

and protective service occupations (34.8 percent) had the highest unionization rates

in 2012. Sales and related occupations (2.9 percent) and farming, fishing, and forestry

occupations (3.4 percent) had the lowest unionization rates. (See table 3.)

 

Selected Characteristics of Union Members

 

The union membership rate was higher for men (12.0 percent) than for women (10.5 percent)

in 2012. (See table 1.) The gap between their rates has narrowed considerably since 1983,

when the rate for men was 24.7 percent and the rate for women was 14.6 percent.

 

In 2012, among major race and ethnicity groups, black workers had a higher union

membership rate (13.4 percent) than workers who were white (11.1 percent), Asian (9.6

percent), or Hispanic (9.8 percent). Black men had the highest union membership rate

(14.8 percent), while Asian men had the lowest rate (8.9 percent).

 

By age, the union membership rate was highest among workers ages 55 to 64 (14.9 percent).

The lowest union membership rate occurred among those ages 16 to 24 (4.2 percent).

 

Full-time workers were about twice as likely as part-time workers to be union members,

12.5 percent compared with 6.0 percent.

 

Union Representation

 

In 2012, 15.9 million wage and salary workers were represented by a union. This group

includes both union members (14.4 million) and workers who report no union affiliation

but whose jobs are covered by a union contract (1.6 million). (See table 1.) Private-

sector employees comprised about half (814,000) of the 1.6 million workers who were

covered by a union contract but were not members of a union. (See table 3.)

 

Earnings

 

In 2012, among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly

earnings of $943, while those who were not union members had median weekly earnings

of $742. In addition to coverage by a collective bargaining agreement, this earnings

difference reflects a variety of influences, including variations in the distributions

of union members and nonunion employees by occupation, industry, firm size, or geographic

region. (See table 2.)

 

Union Membership by State

 

In 2012, 31 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below that

of the U.S. average, 11.3 percent, while 19 states had higher rates. All states in the

Middle Atlantic and Pacific divisions reported union membership rates above the national

average, and all states in the East South Central and West South Central divisions had

rates below it. Union membership rates declined over the year in 34 states, rose in 14

states and the District of Columbia, and remained unchanged in 2 states. (See table 5.)

 

Eight states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent in 2012. North Carolina had

the lowest rate (2.9 percent), followed by Arkansas (3.2 percent) and South Carolina

(3.3 percent). Three states had union membership rates over 20.0 percent in 2012:

New York (23.2 percent), Alaska (22.4 percent), and Hawaii (21.6 percent).

 

About half of the 14.4 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states

(California, 2.5 million; New York, 1.8 million; Illinois, 0.8 million; Pennsylvania,

0.7 million; and Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio, 0.6 million each), though these states

accounted for only about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.

 

State union membership levels depend on both the state wage and salary employment level

and the union membership rate. Texas, with a union membership rate of 5.7 percent, had

about one-third as many union members as New York, despite having 2.7 million more

wage and salary employees. Conversely, North Carolina and Hawaii had comparable numbers

of union members (112,000 and 116,000, respectively), though North Carolina's wage and

salary employment level (3.8 million) was more than seven times that of Hawaii (537,000).

 

 

 

 

ReBlog:  A service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City.


# posted by Digital Library Sphere @ 8:38 AM Comments: Post a Comment



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