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17-296-NEW
Thursday, March 02, 2017

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Union Members in New York and New Jersey — 2016

In 2016, union members accounted for 23.6 percent of wage and salary workers in New York and 16.1 percent in New Jersey, compared with 24.7 and 15.4 percent, respectively, in 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that New York continued to have the highest union membership rate in the nation. (See chart 1 and table A.) Nationwide, union members accounted for 10.7 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2016, down 0.4 percentage point from 2015. Since 1989, when comparable state data became available, both New York and New Jersey union membership rates have been above the U.S. average.

New York had 1,942,000 union members in 2016 and New Jersey, 644,000. In addition to these members, another 133,000 wage and salary workers in New York and 22,000 in New Jersey were represented by a union on their main job or covered by an employee association or contract while not union members themselves. (See table A.) Nationwide, 14.6 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2016 and 1.7 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 New York and New Jersey, annual averages, 2006–2016 (numbers in thousands)
Year Total employed Members of unions (1) Represented by unions (2)
Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed

New York

 

2006

8,115 1,981 24.4 2,060 25.4

2007

8,150 2,055 25.2 2,146 26.3

2008

8,165 2,029 24.9 2,170 26.6

2009

8,021 2,019 25.2 2,182 27.2

2010

8,078 1,959 24.2 2,099 26.0

2011

7,920 1,906 24.1 2,068 26.1

2012

7,936 1,841 23.2 1,975 24.9

2013

8,149 1,986 24.4 2,104 25.8

2014

8,060 1,980 24.6 2,081 25.8

2015

8,249 2,038 24.7 2,141 26.0

2016

8,227 1,942 23.6 2,075 25.2

New Jersey

 

2006

3,827 770 20.1 825 21.6

2007

3,897 748 19.2 802 20.6

2008

3,843 703 18.3 731 19.0

2009

3,734 721 19.3 742 19.9

2010

3,734 637 17.1 660 17.7

2011

3,816 615 16.1 641 16.8

2012

3,796 611 16.1 636 16.8

2013

3,814 611 16.0 632 16.6

2014

3,860 635 16.5 664 17.2

2015

3,880 596 15.4 644 16.6

2016

4,007 644 16.1 666 16.6

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 unincorporated businesses. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
 

In 2016, 23 states had union membership rates above the U.S. average, of which 8 had rates above 15.0 percent. (See table 1.) Of the eight states with the highest rates, four bordered the Pacific Ocean and four were in the Northeast. (See chart 2.) New York had the highest rate at 23.6 percent, followed by Hawaii (19.9 percent) and Alaska (18.5 percent).

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below the national average of 10.7 percent in 2016. Nine states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent. Among these nine states, seven were located in the South and two were in the West. South Carolina had the lowest rate at 1.6 percent. The next lowest rates were in North Carolina (3.0 percent), Arkansas (3.9 percent), Georgia (3.9 percent), and Texas (4.0 percent). Nationwide, union membership rates declined in 31 states and the District of Columbia, increased over the year in 16 states, and were unchanged in 3 states.

State union membership levels depend on both the employment level and the union membership rate. The largest numbers of union members lived in California (2.6 million) and New York (1.9 million). Over half of the 14.6 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.6 million; New York, 1.9 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.


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/population-control-adjustments-2016.pdf.

Reliability of the estimates

Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. When a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed, there is a chance that the sample estimates may differ from the true population values they represent. The exact difference, or sampling error, varies depending upon the particular sample selected, and this variability is measured by the standard error of the estimate. There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors from the true population value because of sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence. The state discussion in this release preserves the longtime practice of highlighting the direction of the movements in state union membership rates and levels regardless of their statistical significance.

The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error can occur for many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of the population, inability to obtain information for all respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of respondents to provide correct information, and errors made in the collection or processing of the data.

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, 2015-2016 annual averages (numbers in thousands)
State 2015 2016
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

1,863 190 10.2 204 11.0 1,895 153 8.1 170 9.0

Alaska

304 60 19.6 66 21.7 297 55 18.5 59 19.9

Arizona

2,661 138 5.2 163 6.1 2,727 122 4.5 151 5.5

Arkansas

1,155 58 5.1 74 6.4 1,186 47 3.9 59 5.0

California

15,657 2,486 15.9 2,689 17.2 16,001 2,551 15.9 2,796 17.5

Colorado

2,310 194 8.4 215 9.3 2,438 238 9.8 263 10.8

Connecticut

1,587 269 17.0 277 17.4 1,568 275 17.5 288 18.4

Delaware

412 38 9.2 43 10.4 419 48 11.4 56 13.3

District of Columbia

334 35 10.4 40 12.1 343 32 9.5 37 10.7

Florida

7,994 546 6.8 671 8.4 8,113 456 5.6 574 7.1

Georgia

4,016 162 4.0 206 5.1 4,249 165 3.9 210 4.9

Hawaii

583 119 20.4 126 21.7 597 119 19.9 125 20.9

Idaho

679 46 6.8 50 7.3 689 42 6.1 47 6.8

Illinois

5,566 847 15.2 892 16.0 5,587 812 14.5 856 15.3

Indiana

2,828 283 10.0 319 11.3 2,927 304 10.4 335 11.4

Iowa

1,435 138 9.6 174 12.2 1,454 129 8.9 153 10.5

Kansas

1,255 110 8.7 136 10.8 1,274 109 8.6 132 10.3

Kentucky

1,705 187 11.0 207 12.1 1,710 190 11.1 228 13.4

Louisiana

1,847 107 5.8 126 6.8 1,799 76 4.2 88 4.9

Maine

549 64 11.6 75 13.6 567 65 11.4 77 13.5

Maryland

2,757 287 10.4 337 12.2 2,815 310 11.0 347 12.3

Massachusetts

3,103 402 12.9 441 14.2 3,158 381 12.1 407 12.9

Michigan

4,083 621 15.2 672 16.5 4,196 606 14.4 651 15.5

Minnesota

2,565 363 14.2 385 15.0 2,563 365 14.2 388 15.2

Mississippi

1,103 60 5.4 75 6.8 1,108 73 6.6 90 8.1

Missouri

2,615 230 8.8 257 9.8 2,711 262 9.7 290 10.7

Montana

427 52 12.2 59 13.9 418 50 11.9 58 13.9

Nebraska

882 68 7.7 80 9.0 876 64 7.4 74 8.5

Nevada

1,232 177 14.3 203 16.5 1,211 146 12.1 182 15.0

New Hampshire

641 62 9.7 73 11.4 669 63 9.4 74 11.0

New Jersey

3,880 596 15.4 644 16.6 4,007 644 16.1 666 16.6

New Mexico

782 49 6.2 61 7.9 784 49 6.3 64 8.2

New York

8,249 2,038 24.7 2,141 26.0 8,227 1,942 23.6 2,075 25.2

North Carolina

4,089 123 3.0 167 4.1 4,225 129 3.0 174 4.1

North Dakota

352 19 5.4 24 6.8 363 20 5.5 25 7.0

Ohio

4,914 606 12.3 670 13.6 4,970 617 12.4 702 14.1

Oklahoma

1,567 88 5.6 116 7.4 1,482 80 5.4 97 6.6

Oregon

1,586 235 14.8 256 16.2 1,691 228 13.5 267 15.8

Pennsylvania

5,601 747 13.3 804 14.4 5,686 685 12.1 724 12.7

Rhode Island

483 68 14.2 72 14.9 481 74 15.5 81 16.9

South Carolina

1,960 41 2.1 57 2.9 1,981 32 1.6 52 2.6

South Dakota

382 22 5.9 26 6.9 379 20 5.2 26 7.0

Tennessee

2,693 146 5.4 175 6.5 2,746 158 5.7 174 6.4

Texas

11,177 503 4.5 626 5.6 11,457 462 4.0 606 5.3

Utah

1,274 50 3.9 67 5.2 1,318 62 4.7 79 6.0

Vermont

284 36 12.6 42 14.7 290 33 11.5 37 12.9

Virginia

3,736 202 5.4 258 6.9 3,748 160 4.3 226 6.0

Washington

2,977 500 16.8 536 18.0 3,090 539 17.4 577 18.7

West Virginia

665 83 12.4 91 13.7 669 79 11.8 88 13.2

Wisconsin

2,682 223 8.3 253 9.4 2,696 219 8.1 244 9.0

Wyoming

261 19 7.1 22 8.2 248 16 6.3 18 7.3

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 unincorporated businesses. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, March 02, 2017