What Percentage Of U.S. Workers Are Union Members?

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Authored by Zach Hrynowski of Gallup.com

As Americans prepare to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Labor Day on Monday, Gallup’s latest measurement on labor union membership finds that 10% of full- and part-time U.S. workers belong to a union. This marks the second year in a row of the lowest level of union membership in over 15 years: from 2003 to 2017, union workers made up an average of 13% of the American workforce.

  • Over one-third of government employees (37%) belong to a union, versus 6% of all private sector employees.

  • Workers in the South are the least likely of any U.S. region to report being part of a union, with 5% saying they belong to a union. That contrasts with 15% and 14% of workers in the East and West, respectively. In the Midwest — where organized labor and right-to-work laws have been the subject of intense political debate in recent years — 10% of workers say they are union members.

  • 14% of workers reporting an annual household income of $100,000 or more are members of a union, compared with 3% of those in households earning less than $40,000 per year.

  • Employed Americans aged 35 to 54 (13%) are more than twice as likely as those aged 18 to 34 (6%) to be members of organized labor.

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