Thursday, January 31, 2019
In 2018, union members accounted for 4.3 percent of wage and salary workers in Texas, compared with 4.7 percent in 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that the state’s union membership rate was at its peak in 1993 when it averaged 7.5 percent and at its lowest in 2016 at 4.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Nationwide, union members accounted for 10.5 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2018, down from 10.7 percent in 2017. Since comparable state data became available in 1989, union membership rates in Texas have been below the U.S. average.
Texas had 512,000 union members in 2018. In addition to these members, another 141,000 wage and salary workers in Texas were represented by a union on their main job or covered by an employee association or contract while not being 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.
|Year||Total employed||Members of unions (1)||Represented by unions (2)|
|Total||Percent of employed||Total||Percent of employed|
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 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. (See table 1.) 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 chart 2.)
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.
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 www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#pop.
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.
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.
|Members of unions(1)||Represented by|
|Members of unions(1)||Represented by|
District of Columbia
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: Thursday, January 31, 2019