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NEW: MA Union Membership on the Decline

Thursday, January 24, 2013


The percentage of union members in the Bay State's workforce declined in 2012, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released this week.

A total of 422,000 workers in Massachusetts, or 14.6 percent of the state's labor force, were members of unions in 2011. In 2012, that number declined to 417,000 union members, or 14.4 percent of the labor force.

The change in Massachusetts mirrored a national trend in declining union membership. The national union membership rate of wage and salary workers was 11.3 percent in 2012, compared to 11.8 percent in 2011.

New York had the highest union membership rate at 23.2 percent, while North Carolina had the smallest share of union members in its workforce, with a union membership rate of just 2.9 percent.

The BLS report found that education, training, and library occupations had the highest unionization rates, at 35.4 percent.

In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers. In 2012, there were 14.4 million union workers nationwide.  


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