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13-300-KAN

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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Union Membership in Colorado – 2012

In 2012, union members accounted for 7.8 percent of wage and salary workers in Colorado, compared with 8.2 percent in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that Colorado’s union membership rate has been below the U.S. average every year since state data were first available for comparison in 1989. (See chart 1.) At its peak in 1990, the union membership rate for the state was 10.5 percent. Nationwide, union members accounted for 11.3 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2012, down from 11.8 percent in 2011.

Chart 1. Members of unions as a percent of employed in the United States and Colorado, 1989-2012

In addition to Colorado’s 169,000 wage and salary workers who were union members in 2012, another 21,000 workers were represented by a union on their main job or were covered by an employee association or contract while not being union members themselves. (See table A.) Nationwide, 14.4 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2012 and about 1.6 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 Colorado, annual averages, 2003-2012 (Numbers in thousands)
Year Total employed Members of unions (1) Represented by unions (2)
Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed

2003

2,007 156 7.8 180 9.0

2004

2,050 172 8.4 191 9.3

2005

2,052 170 8.3 193 9.4

2006

2,154 165 7.7 186 8.6

2007

2,204 191 8.7 202 9.2

2008

2,254 181 8.0 208 9.2

2009

2,175 153 7.0 181 8.3

2010

2,130 140 6.6 171 8.0

2011

2,186 179 8.2 203 9.3

2012

2,165 169 7.8 190 8.8

Footnotes:
(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 contract.

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.

In 2012, 19 states had union membership rates above the U.S. average, 11.3 percent, while 31 states and the District of Columbia had lower rates. (See table 1.) Nine states had union membership rates above 15.0 percent. Of these states, three were located in the Northeast, five in the West, and one in the Midwest. (See chart 2.) New York had the highest rate (23.2 percent), followed by Alaska (22.4 percent), Hawaii (21.6 percent), and Washington (18.5 percent).

Eight states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent, with North Carolina having the lowest, 2.9 percent. The next lowest rates were recorded in Arkansas (3.2 percent), South Carolina (3.3 percent), Mississippi (4.3 percent), Virginia and Georgia (4.4 percent each), and Tennessee and Idaho (4.8 percent each). Union membership rates declined over the year in 34 states (including Colorado), rose in 14 states and the District of Columbia, and were unchanged in 2 states.

About half of the 14.4 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.5 million; New York, 1.8 million; Illinois, 0.8 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, North Carolina and Hawaii had comparable numbers of union members (112,000 and 116,000, respectively), though North Carolina’s wage and salary employment level (3.8 million) was more than seven times that of Hawaii (537,000). Similarly, Colorado and Georgia had comparable numbers of union members (169,000 and 171,000, respectively), though Georgia had 1,749,000 more wage and salary workers (3,914,000) than Colorado (2,165,000).

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: 1-800-877-8339.

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, 2011 - 2012 annual averages (Numbers in thousands)
State 2011 2012
Total employed Members of unions(1) Represented by unions(2) Total employed Members of unions(1) Represented by unions(2)
Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed

Alabama

1,781 178 10.0 193 10.8 1,807 166 9.2 190 10.5

Alaska

306 68 22.1 73 23.7 298 67 22.4 71 23.9

Arizona

2,493 149 6.0 183 7.3 2,434 125 5.1 159 6.5

Arkansas

1,116 47 4.2 57 5.1 1,157 37 3.2 43 3.7

California

13,931 2,379 17.1 2,532 18.2 14,483 2,489 17.2 2,666 18.4

Colorado

2,186 179 8.2 203 9.3 2,165 169 7.8 190 8.8

Connecticut

1,542 259 16.8 272 17.7 1,541 216 14.0 232 15.1

Delaware

370 39 10.5 42 11.2 377 39 10.4 44 11.8

District of Columbia

281 23 8.3 28 9.9 309 27 8.6 32 10.3

Florida

7,283 460 6.3 557 7.6 7,602 440 5.8 555 7.3

Georgia

3,876 153 3.9 185 4.8 3,914 171 4.4 210 5.4

Hawaii

525 113 21.5 118 22.5 537 116 21.6 124 23.2

Idaho

594 31 5.1 36 6.1 613 29 4.8 36 5.8

Illinois

5,408 876 16.2 929 17.2 5,486 801 14.6 852 15.5

Indiana

2,681 302 11.3 333 12.4 2,702 246 9.1 269 10.0

Iowa

1,386 155 11.2 187 13.5 1,390 145 10.4 172 12.4

Kansas

1,268 97 7.6 128 10.1 1,248 85 6.8 105 8.4

Kentucky

1,678 150 8.9 173 10.3 1,742 174 10.0 198 11.4

Louisiana

1,717 77 4.5 91 5.3 1,733 107 6.2 130 7.5

Maine

554 63 11.3 74 13.4 559 64 11.5 78 13.9

Maryland

2,549 316 12.4 348 13.7 2,636 280 10.6 325 12.3

Massachusetts

2,882 422 14.6 445 15.4 2,896 417 14.4 470 16.2

Michigan

3,838 671 17.5 703 18.3 3,785 629 16.6 648 17.1

Minnesota

2,461 371 15.1 390 15.8 2,465 351 14.2 368 14.9

Mississippi

1,081 54 5.0 73 6.8 1,113 48 4.3 64 5.7

Missouri

2,531 275 10.9 316 12.5 2,507 224 8.9 253 10.1

Montana

377 49 13.0 55 14.6 392 54 13.9 65 16.5

Nebraska

828 65 7.9 83 10.0 864 52 6.0 70 8.1

Nevada

1,050 154 14.6 175 16.6 1,101 162 14.7 181 16.4

New Hampshire

617 68 11.1 77 12.5 621 65 10.5 74 12.0

New Jersey

3,816 615 16.1 641 16.8 3,796 611 16.1 636 16.8

New Mexico

726 49 6.8 65 9.0 780 50 6.5 68 8.7

New York

7,920 1,906 24.1 2,068 26.1 7,936 1,841 23.2 1,975 24.9

North Carolina

3,589 105 2.9 149 4.1 3,805 112 2.9 162 4.3

North Dakota

318 20 6.3 27 8.6 329 20 6.1 27 8.2

Ohio

4,813 647 13.4 706 14.7 4,800 604 12.6 665 13.9

Oklahoma

1,458 94 6.4 113 7.7 1,531 115 7.5 140 9.1

Oregon

1,574 270 17.1 286 18.1 1,526 240 15.7 250 16.4

Pennsylvania

5,348 779 14.6 846 15.8 5,452 734 13.5 787 14.4

Rhode Island

453 79 17.4 81 17.9 455 81 17.8 84 18.4

South Carolina

1,726 59 3.4 86 5.0 1,773 58 3.3 82 4.6

South Dakota

359 18 5.1 23 6.5 351 20 5.6 24 6.7

Tennessee

2,504 115 4.6 139 5.6 2,586 124 4.8 152 5.9

Texas

10,214 534 5.2 643 6.3 10,590 599 5.7 721 6.8

Utah

1,150 67 5.8 82 7.1 1,179 61 5.2 77 6.6

Vermont

290 35 12.0 39 13.5 288 31 10.7 38 13.1

Virginia

3,550 163 4.6 198 5.6 3,592 159 4.4 197 5.5

Washington

2,727 517 19.0 557 20.4 2,776 513 18.5 541 19.5

West Virginia

672 93 13.8 102 15.2 697 84 12.1 91 13.1

Wisconsin

2,538 339 13.3 358 14.1 2,605 293 11.2 312 12.0

Wyoming

250 18 7.2 21 8.4 252 17 6.7 20 8.1

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 an 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.

Chart 2. Union membership rates by state, 2012 annual averages

 

Last Modified Date: March 19, 2014