Union membership held steady in the United States in 2013, but is down by 3.2-million since such membership began to be counted by the federal government 30 years ago.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 the union membership rate -- the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions -- was 11.3 percent, the same as in 2012. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions last year, 14.5 million, was little different from 2012.
In 1983, the first year for which comparable union membership data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.
Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (35.3 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.7 percent). In 2013, 7.2 million employees in the public sector belonged to a union, compared with 7.3 million workers in the private sector
Among major race and ethnicity groups, African-American workers had a higher union membership rate in 2013 (13.6 percent) than workers who were white (11.0 percent), Asian
(9.4 percent), or Hispanic (9.4 percent).
Among the states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate
(24.4 percent), followed by Alaska (23.1 percent) and Hawaii (22.1 percent). North Carolina had the lowest rate (3.0 percent), while the union membership rate in Florida was 5.4%. With a total of 7,655,000 persons employed in Florida, 414,000 were union members in 2013. The U.S. average by state was 11.3 percent.