- Created on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 12:18
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics union membership continued to decline in 2012. Last year 11.3% of wage and salary workers belonged to a union, down from 11.8% in 2011, and 20.1% in 1983. In looking at just the private sector, only 6.6% of workers are unionized. In comparison, some 35.9% of public employees are represented.
The study also revealed that private sector unions were most prevalent in the transportation, utilities, telecommunications, and construction industries while teachers, police officers and firefighters were most likely to be represented in the public sector. Conversely, agricultural and finance employees were least likely to be organized.
Representation, however, has its benefits. Union workers earned an average of $943 per week compared to their non-union brethren who earned $742.
Workers most likely to be union members included those over 55, African Americans, and males. New York had the highest percentage of union workers (23.2%) followed by Alaska (22.4%) and Hawaii (21.6%). California, however, had the greatest number of union workers, 2.5 million out of a total of 14.4 million total U.S. union workers. North Carolina had the lowest percentage (2.9%) followed by Arkansas (3.2%), and South Carolina (3.2%).
In Connecticut the percentage of union workers slipped from 16.8% in 2011 to 14% in 2012, even though total employment remained constant at about 1.5 million workers.