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Hawaii and New York had highest union membership rates, the Carolinas the lowest, in 2019

January 27, 2020

In 2019, 28 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below the U.S. average of 10.3 percent. Twenty-one states had rates above the U.S. average, and one state had the same rate. Two states had union membership rates over 20.0 percent in 2019: Hawaii (23.5 percent) and New York (21.0 percent).

Union membership rates of employed wage and salary workers by state, 2019 annual averages
State Union membership rate Employed union members Total employed wage and salary workers

Hawaii

23.5% 135,000 574,000

New York

21.0 1,732,000 8,253,000

Washington

18.8 638,000 3,393,000

Rhode Island

17.4 83,000 475,000

Alaska

17.1 48,000 282,000

New Jersey

15.7 642,000 4,094,000

California

15.2 2,504,000 16,485,000

Nevada

14.6 201,000 1,379,000

Connecticut

14.5 244,000 1,680,000

Oregon

14.4 255,000 1,772,000

Minnesota

13.7 364,000 2,662,000

Illinois

13.6 771,000 5,658,000

Michigan

13.6 589,000 4,323,000

Massachusetts

12.0 406,000 3,397,000

Pennsylvania

12.0 676,000 5,642,000

Ohio

11.9 610,000 5,127,000

Maine

11.8 69,000 588,000

Maryland

11.3 330,000 2,912,000

Vermont

11.2 33,000 290,000

Missouri

11.1 297,000 2,661,000

Montana

10.5 46,000 437,000

New Hampshire

10.3 69,000 677,000

West Virginia

10.2 72,000 704,000

District of Columbia

9.3 34,000 361,000

Colorado

9.0 237,000 2,631,000

Delaware

8.7 38,000 432,000

Kansas

8.7 112,000 1,280,000

Alabama

8.5 173,000 2,041,000

Nebraska

8.4 75,000 894,000

Indiana

8.3 249,000 3,007,000

Wisconsin

8.1 218,000 2,698,000

Kentucky

8.0 144,000 1,786,000

Wyoming

7.3 18,000 243,000

New Mexico

7.1 58,000 813,000

Iowa

6.3 97,000 1,543,000

Mississippi

6.3 70,000 1,105,000

Florida

6.2 551,000 8,827,000

Oklahoma

6.2 96,000 1,554,000

North Dakota

6.0 21,000 356,000

Arizona

5.7 174,000 3,028,000

South Dakota

5.6 22,000 395,000

Louisiana

5.3 94,000 1,784,000

Arkansas

5.2 62,000 1,200,000

Idaho

4.9 37,000 764,000

Tennessee

4.6 135,000 2,947,000

Utah

4.4 62,000 1,409,000

Georgia

4.1 180,000 4,422,000

Texas

4.0 497,000 12,334,000

Virginia

4.0 156,000 3,881,000

North Carolina

2.3 102,000 4,396,000

South Carolina

2.2 47,000 2,140,000

Eight states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent in 2019. South Carolina (2.2 percent) and North Carolina (2.3 percent) had the lowest rates. The next lowest rates were in Texas and Virginia (4.0 percent each).

Over half of the 14.6 million union members in the United States lived in just seven states (California, 2.5 million; New York, 1.7 million; Illinois, 0.8 million; Pennsylvania, 0.7 million; and New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington, 0.6 million each), though these states accounted for only about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see "Union Members — 2019." The union membership rate is the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions. The numbers exclude all self-employed workers.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Hawaii and New York had highest union membership rates, the Carolinas the lowest, in 2019 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/hawaii-and-new-york-had-highest-union-membership-rates-the-carolinas-the-lowest-in-2019.htm (visited August 13, 2020).

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