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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
BLS: Hawaii Union Membership Rate 22.1%
By News Release @ 2:00 PM :: 5532 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Labor


From Bureau of Labor Statistics February 26, 2014 

In 2013, union members accounted for 22.1 percent of wage and salary workers in Hawaii, compared with 21.6 percent in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the union membership rate for the state was at the series high of 29.9 percent in 1989, and at the series low of 21.5 percent in 2011. Nationally, union members accounted for 11.3 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2013, the same as in 2012. Since 1989, when comparable state data became available, Hawaii union membership rates have exceeded the U.S. average.  


Hawaii had 121,000 wage and salary workers who were union members in 2013. Additionally, another 8,000 workers in the state 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, 14.5 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2013 and 1.5 million wage and salary workers were not affiliated with a union but had jobs covered by a union contract.

In 2013, 20 states had union membership rates above the U.S. average, of which 9 had rates above 15 percent. (See table 1.) Of the nine states with the highest rates, two were located in the Midwest, three in the Northeast, and the remaining four bordered the Pacific Ocean. (See chart 2.) New York had the highest rate at 24.4 percent, followed by Alaska (23.1 percent) and Hawaii (22.1 percent). In fact, New York has had the highest union membership rate in the nation for 17 of the past 19 years. 

Thirty states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below the national average of 11.3 percent in 2013. Nine of these states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent with North Carolina having the lowest at 3.0 percent. The next lowest rate was recorded in Arkansas (3.5 percent), followed by Mississippi and South Carolina (both at 3.7 percent). Among the nine states with the lowest union membership rates, six were located in the South, two in the West, and one in the Midwest. 

Over half of the 14.5 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.4 million; New York, 2.0 million; Illinois, 0.9 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, despite having the same number of wage and salary employees statewide, Oklahoma had only about one-half the number of union members as Oregon (114,000 and 208,000, respectively). Conversely, North Carolina and Hawaii had comparable numbers of union members (117,000 and 121,000, respectively), though North Carolina's wage and salary employment (3.9 million) was more than seven times that of Hawaii (549,000).




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