A to Z Index  |  FAQs  |  About BLS  |  Contact Us    

News Release Information

19-175-BOS
Monday, March 04, 2019

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Union Membership in Massachusetts and Connecticut — 2018

In 2018, union members accounted for 13.7 percent of wage and salary workers in Massachusetts and 16.0 percent in Connecticut compared to 12.4 and 16.9 percent, respectively, in 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that both states had union membership rates above the U.S. average of 10.5 percent in 2018.(See chart 1 and table A.) In fact, the union membership rates in these two states have exceeded the national average since the series began in 1989, the first year for which comparable state data are available.

Massachusetts had 464,000 union members in 2018 and Connecticut, 268,000. An additional 29,000 wage and salary workers in Massachusetts and 12,000 in Connecticut were represented by a union on their main job or were covered by an employee association or contract while not union members themselves.(See table A.) Nationwide, 14.7 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2018, and 1.6 million wage and salary workers were not affiliated with a union but had jobs covered by a union contract.

Table A. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers in Massachusetts and Connecticut, annual averages, 2008-2018 (numbers in thousands)
Year Total employed Members of Unions(1) Represented by Unions(2)
Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed

Massachusetts

2008

2,909 458 15.7 491 16.9

2009

2,864 476 16.6 516 18.0

2010

2,866 415 14.5 446 15.6

2011

2,882 422 14.6 445 15.4

2012

2,896 417 14.4 470 16.2

2013

2,940 401 13.7 430 14.6

2014

3,036 415 13.7 445 14.7

2015

3,103 402 12.9 441 14.2

2016

3,158 381 12.1 407 12.9

2017

3,231 401 12.4 431 13.3

2018

3,397 464 13.7 493 14.5

Connecticut

2008

1,625 275 16.9 291 17.9

2009

1,538 265 17.3 282 18.4

2010

1,549 258 16.7 270 17.4

2011

1,542 259 16.8 272 17.7

2012

1,541 216 14.0 232 15.1

2013

1,535 207 13.5 220 14.3

2014

1,564 231 14.8 245 15.7

2015

1,587 269 17.0 277 17.4

2016

1,568 275 17.5 288 18.4

2017

1,645 278 16.9 295 17.9

2018

1,677 268 16.0 280 16.7

Footnotes:
(1) Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union.
(2) Data refer to both members of a labor union as well as workers who are not members but whose jobs are covered by a union or employee association contract.

NOTE: Data refer to the sole or principal job of full-and part-time workers.
Excluded are all self-employed workers regardless of whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of the January data.

In 2018, 29 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below that of the U.S. average, 10.5 percent, while 20 states had rates above it and 1 state had the same rate. All states in both the East South Central and West South Central divisions had union membership rates below the national average, while all states in both the Middle Atlantic and Pacific divisions had rates above it.

Eight states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent in 2018. North Carolina and South Carolina had the lowest rate (2.7 percent each). The next lowest rates were in Utah (4.1 percent) and Texas and Virginia (4.3 percent each). Two states had union membership rates over 20.0 percent in 2018: Hawaii (23.1 percent) and New York (22.3 percent). (See table 1 and the map).

The largest numbers of union members lived in California (2.4 million) and New York (1.9 million). Over half of the 14.7 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.4 million; New York, 1.9 million; Illinois, 0.8 million; Pennsylvania, 0.7 million; and Michigan, Ohio, and Washington, 0.6 million each), though these states accounted for only about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.


Technical Note

The estimates in this release are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides basic information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. The survey is conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau from a scientifically selected national sample of about 60,000 eligible households. The union membership data are tabulated from one-quarter of the CPS monthly sample and are limited to wage and salary workers. All self-employed workers are excluded.

Beginning in January of each year, data reflect revised population controls used in the CPS. Additional information about population controls is available on the BLS website at https://www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm.

Information about the reliability of data from the CPS and guidance on estimating standard errors is available at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Definitions

The principal definitions used in this release are described briefly below.

Union members. Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union.

Union membership rate. Data refer to the proportion of total wage and salary workers who are union members.

Represented by unions. Data refer to both union members and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union or an employee association contract.

Wage and salary workers. Workers who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payment in kind, or piece rates. The group includes employees in both the private and public sectors. Union membership and earnings data exclude all self-employed workers, both those with incorporated businesses as well as those with unincorporated businesses.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200, Federal Relay Service: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers by state, 2017-2018 annual averages (numbers in thousands)
State 2017 2018
Total
employed
Members of unions(1) Represented by
unions(2)
Total
employed
Members of unions(1) Represented by
unions(2)
Total Percent
of
employed
Total Percent
of
employed
Total Percent
of
employed
Total Percent
of
employed

Alabama

1,869 138 7.4 152 8.1 1,950 180 9.2 196 10.1

Alaska

304 55 18.1 59 19.4 299 55 18.5 60 20.0

Arizona

2,805 111 4.0 145 5.2 2,943 156 5.3 191 6.5

Arkansas

1,209 62 5.1 74 6.1 1,176 56 4.8 62 5.3

California

16,064 2,491 15.5 2,708 16.9 16,399 2,405 14.7 2,587 15.8

Colorado

2,494 238 9.6 273 11.0 2,564 281 11.0 307 12.0

Connecticut

1,645 278 16.9 295 17.9 1,677 268 16.0 280 16.7

Delaware

425 45 10.7 48 11.2 434 45 10.3 47 10.8

District of Columbia

347 34 9.8 40 11.5 354 35 9.9 41 11.6

Florida

8,573 480 5.6 570 6.6 8,702 484 5.6 588 6.8

Georgia

4,342 173 4.0 217 5.0 4,466 201 4.5 249 5.6

Hawaii

605 129 21.3 139 22.9 601 139 23.1 146 24.3

Idaho

723 35 4.8 42 5.8 733 34 4.7 41 5.6

Illinois

5,516 827 15.0 872 15.8 5,694 786 13.8 839 14.7

Indiana

2,987 266 8.9 289 9.7 3,049 269 8.8 283 9.3

Iowa

1,475 104 7.0 127 8.6 1,461 113 7.7 129 8.8

Kansas

1,296 101 7.8 131 10.1 1,283 90 7.0 129 10.1

Kentucky

1,810 174 9.6 232 12.8 1,812 161 8.9 207 11.4

Louisiana

1,780 78 4.4 96 5.4 1,785 89 5.0 104 5.8

Maine

576 66 11.4 81 14.0 573 74 12.9 85 14.8

Maryland

2,772 299 10.8 326 11.8 2,784 307 11.0 336 12.1

Massachusetts

3,231 401 12.4 431 13.3 3,397 464 13.7 493 14.5

Michigan

4,230 658 15.6 711 16.8 4,320 625 14.5 663 15.4

Minnesota

2,693 411 15.2 428 15.9 2,634 395 15.0 421 16.0

Mississippi

1,106 59 5.3 77 7.0 1,121 58 5.1 80 7.1

Missouri

2,613 226 8.7 265 10.1 2,675 251 9.4 283 10.6

Montana

419 50 11.9 57 13.6 427 50 11.8 60 14.0

Nebraska

858 70 8.2 78 9.1 882 59 6.6 71 8.0

Nevada

1,290 164 12.7 189 14.6 1,376 191 13.9 216 15.7

New Hampshire

642 72 11.3 83 13.0 664 68 10.2 77 11.6

New Jersey

3,898 630 16.2 665 17.1 3,935 587 14.9 639 16.2

New Mexico

769 52 6.7 63 8.3 812 56 6.8 67 8.2

New York

8,472 2,017 23.8 2,148 25.3 8,404 1,872 22.3 2,027 24.1

North Carolina

4,305 145 3.4 171 4.0 4,331 118 2.7 174 4.0

North Dakota

356 18 5.1 24 6.8 343 18 5.2 23 6.7

Ohio

5,062 635 12.5 688 13.6 5,054 639 12.6 722 14.3

Oklahoma

1,536 84 5.5 108 7.1 1,583 90 5.7 117 7.4

Oregon

1,763 262 14.9 277 15.7 1,738 242 13.9 256 14.7

Pennsylvania

5,543 665 12.0 723 13.0 5,575 701 12.6 748 13.4

Rhode Island

486 78 16.1 84 17.2 479 83 17.4 89 18.5

South Carolina

1,986 52 2.6 78 3.9 2,016 55 2.7 72 3.6

South Dakota

380 20 5.4 25 6.7 387 22 5.6 28 7.1

Tennessee

2,728 155 5.7 176 6.4 2,816 155 5.5 179 6.4

Texas

11,626 543 4.7 669 5.8 11,989 512 4.3 653 5.4

Utah

1,375 54 3.9 74 5.4 1,343 56 4.1 76 5.7

Vermont

288 32 11.0 35 12.1 291 31 10.5 34 11.6

Virginia

3,801 176 4.6 222 5.8 3,875 168 4.3 213 5.5

Washington

3,112 584 18.8 630 20.2 3,270 649 19.8 671 20.5

West Virginia

683 75 11.0 82 11.9 684 68 10.0 74 10.8

Wisconsin

2,778 230 8.3 250 9.0 2,700 219 8.1 233 8.6

Wyoming

243 15 6.0 16 6.7 235 15 6.5 18 7.7

Footnotes
(1) Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union.
(2) Data refer to both union members and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union or an employee association contract.

Note: Data refer to the sole or principal job of full- and part-time wage and salary workers. All self-employed workers are excluded, both those with incorporated businesses as well as those with unincorportated businesses. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, March 04, 2019