Union membership rate 11.3 percent in 2013, the same as in 2012
January 28, 2014
The union membership rate—the percentage of wage and salary workers who were members of unions—was 11.3 percent in 2013, the same as in 2012. Public-sector workers had a union membership rate of 35.3 percent in 2013. That was more than five times higher than the rate for private-sector workers, 6.7 percent.
|Year||Total||Private sector||Public sector|
Within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest in 2013 for local government workers, 40.8 percent. Local government includes employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters. The union membership rate in 2013 was 30.9 percent among state government workers and 26.5 percent among federal government workers.
In the private sector, industries with high unionization rates include utilities (25.6 percent), transportation and warehousing (19.6 percent), and construction (14.1 percent). Low unionization rates occurred in agriculture and related industries (1.0 percent), financial activities (2.0 percent), professional and business services (2.4 percent), and leisure and hospitality (2.7 percent).
Transportation and warehousing
Health care and social assistance
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Leisure and hospitality
Professional and business services
Agriculture and related industries
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Union membership rate 11.3 percent in 2013, the same as in 2012 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140128.htm (visited March 28, 2020).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Labor Market Activity of Blacks in the United States
Examines data on the labor market and related topics for the Black or African American population.
- Workers’ Access to and Use of Leave from Their Jobs in 2017–18
Examines the reasons for which workers can take leave, their use of leave, and the reasons they did not take available leave even when they needed to.
- A look at employment and wages in U.S. establishments with foreign ownership
Examines employment and wages in U.S. establishments that have at least one foreign owner with at least 10 percent ownership.
- 25 years of Worker Injury, Illness, and Fatality Case Data
Examines detailed historical data on work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatal injuries.