NEW YORK – NEW JERSEY INFORMATION OFFICE

New York City, N.Y.
For release: Thursday, February 3, 2011

NYLS – 7470

Technical information: Martin Kohli (646) 264-3620 • BLSInfoNY@bls.gov • www.bls.gov/ro2
Media contact:
Michael L. Dolfman (212) 337-2500

UNION MEMBERSHIP IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY, 2010
In 2010, union members accounted for 24.2 percent of wage and salary workers in New York and 17.1
percent in New Jersey, compared to 25.2 percent and 19.3 percent, respectively, in 2009, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Michael L. Dolfman noted that
union membership rates in 2010 were the lowest rates recorded in both New York and New Jersey
since 1995, when state data were first comparable. (See chart 1 and table A.) Despite reaching series
lows, both states had union membership rates above that for the nation in 2010, as union members
accounted for only 11.9 percent of employed wage and salary workers in the United States. New
York’s union membership rate was the highest in the nation in 2010.
Chart 1. Union membership rates, New York, New Jersey,
and the United States, 1995-2010
Percent of
employed
30

New York
25

New Jersey
20

15

United States

10

5

0
1995

2000

2005

2010

Round-the-clock recorded messages for the Consumer Price Index and a variety of other
Bureau of Labor Statistics data are available by dialing the New York-New Jersey Information
Office’s main telephone number: (646) 264-3600. For recorded messages, press ‘2’.

New York had 1,959,000 union members in 2010 and New Jersey, 637,000. In addition to these
members, another 140,000 wage and salary workers in New York and 23,000 in New Jersey were
represented by a union on their main job or were covered by an employee association or contract while
not union members themselves. (See table A.) Nationwide, 14.7 million wage and salary workers were
union members in 2010, and about 1.6 million wage and salary workers were non-members represented
by a union or covered by a contract.
Table A. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers in New York and New Jersey, annual
averages, 1995-2010 (numbers in thousands)

Year

Total
employed

Members of unions1
Percent of
Total
employed

Represented by unions2
Percent of
Total
employed_

New York
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010

7,129
7,239
7,406
7,482
7,490
7,863
7,786
7,828
7,874
7,901
8,008
8,115
8,150
8,165
8,021
8,078

1,975
1,942
1,949
1,900
1,897
1,958
2,005
1,981
1,936
1,996
2,090
1,981
2,055
2,029
2,019
1,959

27.7
26.8
26.3
25.4
25.3
24.9
25.8
25.3
24.6
25.3
26.1
24.4
25.2
24.9
25.2
24.2

2,086
2,042
2,050
1,995
1,986
2,046
2,098
2,071
2,017
2,085
2,201
2,060
2,146
2,170
2,182
2,099

3,368
3,517
3,652
3,597
3,609
3,766
3,826
3,872
3,777
3,769
3,868
3,827
3,897
3,843
3,734
3,734

739
768
802
793
741
775
740
757
737
745
791
770
748
703
721
637

21.9
21.8
22.0
22.0
20.5
20.6
19.3
19.6
19.5
19.8
20.5
20.1
19.2
18.3
19.3
17.1

802
832
866
851
807
817
798
797
801
813
838
825
802
731
742
660

29.3
28.2
27.7
26.7
26.5
26.0
26.9
26.5
25.6
26.4
27.5
25.4
26.3
26.6
27.2
26.0

New Jersey
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
1

23.8
23.7
23.7
23.7
22.4
21.7
20.9
20.6
21.2
21.6
21.7
21.6
20.6
19.0
19.9
17.7___

Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union.
Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union, as well as workers who are not
members but whose jobs are covered by a union or employee association contract.
NOTE: Data refer to the sole or principal job of full-and part-time 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 the January data.
2

-2-

In 2010, 31 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below the U.S. average,
11.9 percent, while 19 had higher rates. (See table 1.) All states in the Middle Atlantic (which includes
New York and New Jersey) and Pacific divisions reported union membership rates above the national
average, and all states in the East South Central and West South Central divisions had rates below it.
(See chart 2.) Union membership rates declined over the year in 33 states (including New York and
New Jersey) and the District of Columbia and rose in 17 states.
Three states had union membership rates above 20 percent in 2010. New York had the highest rate,
followed by Alaska (22.9 percent) and Hawaii (21.8 percent). In fact, New York has had the highest
membership rate in the nation for 14 of the past 16 years. Eight states had union membership rates
below 5.0 percent, with North Carolina having the lowest, 3.2 percent. The next lowest rates were
recorded in Arkansas and Georgia (4.0 percent each), Louisiana (4.3 percent), Mississippi (4.5 percent),
South Carolina and Virginia (4.6 percent each), and Tennessee (4.7 percent).
About half of the 14.7 million union members in the United States lived in just six states (California, 2.4
million; New York, 2.0 million; Illinois and Pennsylvania, 0.8 million each; Ohio, 0.7 million; and New
Jersey, 0.6 million), though these states accounted for only 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 1.9 million fewer wage and salary employees statewide, New York had
four times as many union members as Texas. Similarly, New Jersey, with 58,000 fewer wage and salary
employees, had over four times as many union members as Georgia.

-3-

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 selfemployed 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.
For personal assistance or further information on union membership, as well as other Bureau data,
contact the New York Information Office at 646-264-3600 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
to 4:30 p.m. ET. 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.

-4-

Table 1. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers by state
[Numbers in thousands]
2009

State

Total
employed

Members
of
unions1

2010
Represented
by unions2

Total

Percent
of
employed

Total

Percent
of
employed

Total
employed

Members
of
unions1

Represented
by unions2

Total

Percent
of
employed

Total

Percent
of
employed

Alabama. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Alaska. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Arizona. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Arkansas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
California. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Colorado. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Connecticut. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Delaware. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
District of Columbia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Florida. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1,763
293
2,471
1,103
14,297
2,175
1,538
367
276
7,097

191
65
162
47
2,453
153
265
44
29
411

10.9
22.3
6.5
4.2
17.2
7.0
17.3
11.9
10.4
5.8

212
69
194
55
2,622
181
282
47
35
489

12.0
23.6
7.9
5.0
18.3
8.3
18.4
12.8
12.5
6.9

1,809
295
2,507
1,082
13,892
2,130
1,549
352
287
7,033

183
68
161
44
2,431
140
258
40
26
392

10.1
22.9
6.4
4.0
17.5
6.6
16.7
11.4
9.0
5.6

203
73
203
59
2,578
171
270
44
30
488

11.2
24.8
8.1
5.4
18.6
8.0
17.4
12.5
10.5
6.9

Georgia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hawaii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Idaho. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Illinois. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Indiana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Iowa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Kansas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Kentucky. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Louisiana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Maine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3,869
526
577
5,435
2,612
1,398
1,249
1,657
1,704
543

177
123
36
951
277
156
77
142
99
63

4.6
23.5
6.3
17.5
10.6
11.1
6.2
8.6
5.8
11.7

226
128
46
997
319
185
104
173
110
74

5.9
24.3
7.9
18.3
12.2
13.3
8.4
10.5
6.5
13.7

3,792
511
584
5,434
2,554
1,393
1,222
1,642
1,742
543

153
111
42
844
279
158
84
147
76
63

4.0
21.8
7.1
15.5
10.9
11.4
6.8
8.9
4.3
11.6

191
120
50
891
313
192
111
166
96
71

5.0
23.5
8.6
16.4
12.2
13.8
9.1
10.1
5.5
13.0

Maryland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Massachusetts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Michigan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Minnesota. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mississippi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Missouri. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Montana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nebraska. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nevada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
New Hampshire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2,555
2,864
3,785
2,400
1,029
2,481
374
823
1,097
616

323
476
710
362
49
234
52
76
173
67

12.6
16.6
18.8
15.1
4.8
9.4
13.9
9.2
15.7
10.8

366
516
752
377
66
264
68
94
188
76

14.3
18.0
19.9
15.7
6.4
10.6
18.1
11.4
17.2
12.3

2,558
2,866
3,806
2,468
1,037
2,469
364
813
1,012
622

296
415
627
385
46
244
46
75
151
63

11.6
14.5
16.5
15.6
4.5
9.9
12.7
9.3
15.0
10.2

329
446
659
397
58
274
52
96
170
73

12.9
15.6
17.3
16.1
5.6
11.1
14.4
11.8
16.8
11.7

New Jersey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
New Mexico. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
New York. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
North Carolina. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
North Dakota. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ohio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Oklahoma. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Oregon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pennsylvania. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rhode Island. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3,734
759
8,021
3,707
301
4,827
1,456
1,471
5,220
444

721
51
2,019
115
21
685
83
250
782
80

19.3
6.7
25.2
3.1
6.8
14.2
5.7
17.0
15.0
17.9

742
77
2,182
162
30
742
107
272
844
83

19.9
10.2
27.2
4.4
9.8
15.4
7.3
18.5
16.2
18.7

3,734
750
8,078
3,686
313
4,787
1,418
1,515
5,224
456

637
55
1,959
117
23
655
77
245
770
75

17.1
7.3
24.2
3.2
7.4
13.7
5.5
16.2
14.7
16.4

660
72
2,099
180
28
702
99
268
831
79

17.7
9.7
26.0
4.9
9.1
14.7
6.9
17.7
15.9
17.4

South Carolina. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
South Dakota. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tennessee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Texas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Utah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Vermont. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Virginia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Washington. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
West Virginia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Wisconsin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Wyoming. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1,672
357
2,387
9,920
1,136
285
3,503
2,847
699
2,528
239

75
20
121
508
79
35
166
574
97
385
18

4.5
5.5
5.1
5.1
6.9
12.3
4.7
20.2
13.9
15.2
7.7

91
24
156
615
90
40
191
612
108
400
20

5.4
6.6
6.6
6.2
8.0
14.1
5.4
21.5
15.4
15.8
8.3

1,713
357
2,477
10,025
1,144
289
3,473
2,837
677
2,508
246

80
20
115
545
75
34
161
552
100
355
18

4.6
5.6
4.7
5.4
6.5
11.8
4.6
19.4
14.8
14.2
7.4

107
24
142
677
96
40
196
605
111
380
21

6.2
6.6
5.8
6.7
8.4
13.6
5.7
21.3
16.5
15.1
8.4

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, 2010 annual averages
(U.S. rate = 11.9 percent)
Mountain

West
North Central

East
North Central

WASH.

MONT.

MINN.
IDAHO

MAINE

Middle
Atlantic

N.D.

ORE.

New England

VT. N.H.

WIS.

S.D.

MICH.

CONN.

WYO.

NEV.
CALIF.

PA
PA.

IOWA

NEB.

ILL.

UTAH
COLO.

KAN.

IND.

MD.
DEL.
W.VA.
VA.

TENN.

N.C.

ARK.

Pacific

MISS.

S.C.

ALA.
GA.

TEXAS

N.J.

MO.

OKLA.

N.M.

R.I.

OHIO

KY.

ARIZ.

MASS.

N.Y.

D.C.

South
Atlantic

LA.

West
South Central

East
South Central

FLA.

17.0% or more
13.0% to 16.9%
9.0% to 12.9%
5.0% to 8.9%

ALASKA

HAWAII

4.9% or less