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19-58-CHI
Thursday, March 21, 2019

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Union Members in Illinois — 2018

In 2018, union members accounted for 13.8 percent of wage and salary workers in Illinois, compared with 15.0 percent in 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that the union membership rate for 2018 was a series low, while the series peak was 21.0 percent recorded in 1993. (See chart 1 and table A.) Nationwide, union members accounted for 10.5 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2018, down from 10.7 percent in 2017. Since comparable state data became available in 1989, union membership rates in Illinois have been above the U.S. average.

Illinois had 786,000 union members in 2018. In addition to these members, another 53,000 wage and salary workers in Illinois 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, 14.7 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2018, and 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 Illinois, annual averages, 2008–2018 (numbers in thousands)
YearTotal employedMembers of unions (1)Represented by unions (2)
TotalPercent of employedTotalPercent of employed

2008

5,66293916.699317.5

2009

5,43595117.599718.3

2010

5,43484415.589116.4

2011

5,40887616.292917.2

2012

5,48680114.685215.5

2013

5,39785115.888216.3

2014

5,50083115.188016.0

2015

5,56684715.289216.0

2016

5,58781214.585615.3

2017

5,51682715.087215.8

2018

5,69478613.883914.7

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 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.

In 2018, 29 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below that of the U.S. average, 10.5 percent, while 20 states had rates above it, and 1 state had the same rate. (See table 1.)  Eight states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent in 2018. North Carolina and South Carolina had the lowest rate (2.7 percent each). The next lowest rates were in Utah (4.1 percent) and Texas and Virginia (4.3 percent each). Two states had union membership rates over 20.0 percent in 2018: Hawaii (23.1 percent) and New York (22.3 percent). (See chart 2.)

The largest numbers of union members lived in California (2.4 million) and New York (1.9 million). Over half of the 14.7 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.4 million; New York, 1.9 million; Illinois, 0.8 million; Pennsylvania, 0.7 million; and Michigan, Ohio, and Washington, 0.6 million each), though these states accounted for only about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.


Technical Note

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

Beginning in January of each year, data reflect revised population controls used in the CPS. Additional information about population controls is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#pop.

Definitions

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

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

Union membership rate. Data refer to the proportion of total wage and salary workers who are union members.

Represented by unions. 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.

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. Union membership and earnings data exclude all self-employed workers, both those with incorporated businesses as well as those with unincorporated businesses.

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.

Table 1. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers by state, 2017-2018 annual averages (numbers in thousands)
State20172018
Total
employed
Members of unions(1)Represented by
unions(2)
Total
employed
Members of unions(1)Represented by
unions(2)
TotalPercent
of
employed
TotalPercent
of
employed
TotalPercent
of
employed
TotalPercent
of
employed

Alabama

1,8691387.41528.11,9501809.219610.1

Alaska

3045518.15919.42995518.56020.0

Arizona

2,8051114.01455.22,9431565.31916.5

Arkansas

1,209625.1746.11,176564.8625.3

California

16,0642,49115.52,70816.916,3992,40514.72,58715.8

Colorado

2,4942389.627311.02,56428111.030712.0

Connecticut

1,64527816.929517.91,67726816.028016.7

Delaware

4254510.74811.24344510.34710.8

District of Columbia

347349.84011.5354359.94111.6

Florida

8,5734805.65706.68,7024845.65886.8

Georgia

4,3421734.02175.04,4662014.52495.6

Hawaii

60512921.313922.960113923.114624.3

Idaho

723354.8425.8733344.7415.6

Illinois

5,51682715.087215.85,69478613.883914.7

Indiana

2,9872668.92899.73,0492698.82839.3

Iowa

1,4751047.01278.61,4611137.71298.8

Kansas

1,2961017.813110.11,283907.012910.1

Kentucky

1,8101749.623212.81,8121618.920711.4

Louisiana

1,780784.4965.41,785895.01045.8

Maine

5766611.48114.05737412.98514.8

Maryland

2,77229910.832611.82,78430711.033612.1

Massachusetts

3,23140112.443113.33,39746413.749314.5

Michigan

4,23065815.671116.84,32062514.566315.4

Minnesota

2,69341115.242815.92,63439515.042116.0

Mississippi

1,106595.3777.01,121585.1807.1

Missouri

2,6132268.726510.12,6752519.428310.6

Montana

4195011.95713.64275011.86014.0

Nebraska

858708.2789.1882596.6718.0

Nevada

1,29016412.718914.61,37619113.921615.7

New Hampshire

6427211.38313.06646810.27711.6

New Jersey

3,89863016.266517.13,93558714.963916.2

New Mexico

769526.7638.3812566.8678.2

New York

8,4722,01723.82,14825.38,4041,87222.32,02724.1

North Carolina

4,3051453.41714.04,3311182.71744.0

North Dakota

356185.1246.8343185.2236.7

Ohio

5,06263512.568813.65,05463912.672214.3

Oklahoma

1,536845.51087.11,583905.71177.4

Oregon

1,76326214.927715.71,73824213.925614.7

Pennsylvania

5,54366512.072313.05,57570112.674813.4

Rhode Island

4867816.18417.24798317.48918.5

South Carolina

1,986522.6783.92,016552.7723.6

South Dakota

380205.4256.7387225.6287.1

Tennessee

2,7281555.71766.42,8161555.51796.4

Texas

11,6265434.76695.811,9895124.36535.4

Utah

1,375543.9745.41,343564.1765.7

Vermont

2883211.03512.12913110.53411.6

Virginia

3,8011764.62225.83,8751684.32135.5

Washington

3,11258418.863020.23,27064919.867120.5

West Virginia

6837511.08211.96846810.07410.8

Wisconsin

2,7782308.32509.02,7002198.12338.6

Wyoming

243156.0166.7235156.5187.7

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 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.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019