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16.2 million wage and salary workers were represented by a union in 2023

February 02, 2024

In 2023, 16.2 million wage and salary workers were represented by a union, little different than in 2022. The percentage of workers represented by a union was 11.2 percent in 2023, also little different than a year earlier. Workers represented by a union include both union members (14.4 million) and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union contract (1.8 million).

Union membership of wage and salary workers, 2009 to 2023 annual averages
Year Union member Represented by a union

2009

15,327,000 16,904,000

2010

14,715,000 16,290,000

2011

14,764,000 16,290,000

2012

14,366,000 15,922,000

2013

14,528,000 16,028,000

2014

14,576,000 16,152,000

2015

14,795,000 16,441,000

2016

14,555,000 16,271,000

2017

14,817,000 16,444,000

2018

14,744,000 16,380,000

2019

14,574,000 16,383,000

2020

14,253,000 15,939,000

2021

14,012,000 15,802,000

2022

14,285,000 16,002,000

2023

14,424,000 16,193,000

Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly earnings of $1,263 in 2023, while nonunion workers had median usual weekly earnings of $1,090. In addition to coverage by a collective bargaining agreement, these earnings differences reflect a variety of influences, including variations in the distributions of union members and nonunion employees by occupation, industry, age, firm size, or geographic region.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see “Union Members — 2023.” Union membership data do not include self-employed workers.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 16.2 million wage and salary workers were represented by a union in 2023 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2024/16-2-million-wage-and-salary-workers-were-represented-by-a-union-in-2023.htm (visited May 25, 2024).

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