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14-336-SAN
Thursday, February 27, 2014

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Union Membership in Washington– 2013

In 2013, union members accounted for 18.9 percent of wage and salary workers in Washington, compared with 18.5 percent in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the union membership rate for the state was at the series high of 23.8 percent in 1993, and at the series low of 17.9 percent in both 2000 and 2001. Nationally, union members accounted for 11.3 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2013, the same as in 2012. Since 1989, when comparable state data became available, Washington union membership rates have exceeded the U.S. average.

Washington had 546,000 wage and salary workers who were union members in 2013. Additionally, another 22,000 workers in the state 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, 14.5 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2013 and 1.5 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 Washington, annual averages, 2004-2013 (numbers in thousands)
YearTotal employedMembers of unions(1)Represented by unions(2)
TotalPercent of employedTotalPercent of employed

2004

2,645
510
19.3
536
20.3

2005

2,746
523
19.1
559
20.4

2006

2,772
549
19.8
583
21

2007

2,874
579
20.2
616
21.4

2008

2,912
578
19.8
626
21.5

2009

2,847
574
20.2
612
21.5

2010

2,837
552
19.4
605
21.3

2011

2,727
517
19.0
557
20.4

2012

2,776
513
18.5
541
19.5

2013

2,882
546
18.9
568
19.7

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 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 2013, 20 states had union membership rates above the U.S. average, of which 9 had rates above 15 percent. (See table 1.) Of the nine states with the highest rates, two were located in the Midwest, three in the Northeast, and the remaining four bordered the Pacific Ocean. (See chart 2.) New York had the highest rate at 24.4 percent, followed by Alaska (23.1 percent) and Hawaii (22.1 percent). In fact, New York has had the highest union membership rate in the nation for 17 of the past 19 years.

Thirty states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below the national average of 11.3 percent in 2013. Nine of these states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent with North Carolina having the lowest at 3.0 percent. The next lowest rate was recorded in Arkansas (3.5 percent), followed by Mississippi and South Carolina (both at 3.7 percent). Among the nine states with the lowest union membership rates, six were located in the South, two in the West, and one in the Midwest.

Over half of the 14.5 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.4 million; New York, 2.0 million; Illinois, 0.9 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.

State union membership levels depend on both the union membership rate and the employment level. For example, despite having a similar number of wage and salary employees statewide, Washington had more than double the number of union members as Indiana (546,000 and 249,000, respectively). Conversely, North Carolina and Hawaii had comparable numbers of union members (117,000 and 121,000, respectively), though North Carolina's wage and salary employment (3.9 million) was more than seven times that of Hawaii (549,000).


Technical Note

The estimates in this release are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides the 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 households. The union membership and earnings 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.

Union membership data, particularly for levels, are not strictly comparable with data for earlier years because of the introduction of updated population controls used in the CPS. These updated controls have little or no effect on unemployment rates and other ratios, such as union membership rates. For technical documentation and related information, including reliability of the CPS estimates, see www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm.

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.

Definitions

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

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

Represented by unions. Union members, as well as workers who have 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, but, for the purposes of the union membership and earnings series, excludes all self-employed persons, regardless of whether or not their businesses are incorporated.

Table 1. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers by state, 2012-2013 annual averages (numbers in thousands)
State20122013
Total employedMembers of
unions(1)
Represented by
unions(2)
Total employedMembers of
unions(1)
Represented by
unions(2)
TotalPercent of employedTotalPercent of employedTotalPercent of employedTotalPercent of employed

Alabama

1,8071669.219010.51,89420310.722211.7

Alaska

2986722.47123.93067123.17524.5

Arizona

2,4341255.11596.52,4521225.01476.0

Arkansas

1,157373.2433.71,072383.5444.1

California

14,4832,48917.22,66618.414,8352,43016.42,57917.4

Colorado

2,1651697.81908.82,2431717.62079.2

Connecticut

1,54121614.023215.11,53520713.522014.3

Delaware

3773910.44411.83703810.34111.0

District of Columbia

309278.63210.3308299.33411.0

Florida

7,6024405.85557.37,6554145.45296.9

Georgia

3,9141714.42105.43,9582095.32486.3

Hawaii

53711621.612423.254912122.112923.6

Idaho

613294.8365.8617294.7365.8

Illinois

5,48680114.685215.55,39785115.888216.3

Indiana

2,7022469.126910.02,6822499.327510.3

Iowa

1,39014510.417212.41,42114310.117112.0

Kansas

1,248856.81058.41,252947.51068.4

Kentucky

1,74217410.019811.41,73519411.222613.0

Louisiana

1,7331076.21307.51,728754.3955.5

Maine

5596411.57813.95746411.17513.1

Maryland

2,63628010.632512.32,66530811.634913.1

Massachusetts

2,89641714.447016.22,94040113.743014.6

Michigan

3,78562916.664817.13,88963316.365616.9

Minnesota

2,46535114.236814.92,53236214.338115.0

Mississippi

1,113484.3645.71,040383.7444.2

Missouri

2,5072248.925310.12,5372198.626410.4

Montana

3925413.96516.54035213.06014.8

Nebraska

864526.0708.1870637.3799.0

Nevada

1,10116214.718116.41,15416914.618616.1

New Hampshire

6216510.57412.0623609.66710.7

New Jersey

3,79661116.163616.83,81461116.063216.6

New Mexico

780506.5688.7751466.2557.3

New York

7,9361,84123.21,97524.98,1491,98624.42,10425.8

North Carolina

3,8051122.91624.33,8791173.01844.8

North Dakota

329206.1278.2342226.4298.5

Ohio

4,80060412.666513.94,78660512.667414.1

Oklahoma

1,5311157.51409.11,5161147.51449.5

Oregon

1,52624015.725016.41,50420813.922314.8

Pennsylvania

5,45273413.578714.45,50170112.775413.7

Rhode Island

4558117.88418.44597716.98217.8

South Carolina

1,773583.3824.61,855693.7864.7

South Dakota

351205.6246.7362174.8215.8

Tennessee

2,5861244.81525.92,5431556.11887.4

Texas

10,5905995.77216.810,8775184.86476.0

Utah

1,179615.2776.61,253493.9675.4

Vermont

2883110.73813.12853110.93813.2

Virginia

3,5921594.41975.53,6011805.02296.4

Washington

2,77651318.554119.52,88254618.956819.7

West Virginia

6978412.19113.16868712.79313.5

Wisconsin

2,60529311.231212.02,56931712.333713.1

Wyoming

252176.7208.1259155.7176.4

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

NOTE: Data refer to the sole or principal job of full- and part-time wage and salary 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 January data.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, February 27, 2014