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Union membership declines again in 2003

January 22, 2004

In 2003, 12.9 percent of wage and salary workers were union members, down from 13.3 percent in 2002. The union membership rate has steadily declined from a high of 20.1 percent in 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available.

Union membership of wage and salary workers by demographic group, 2003
[Chart data—TXT]

Blacks were more likely in 2003 to be union members (16.5 percent) than were whites (12.5 percent), Asians (11.4 percent), or Hispanics (10.7 percent).

Union membership rates were higher for men (14.3 percent) than for women (11.4 percent) in 2003. The gap between men's and women's rates has narrowed considerably since 1983, when the rate for men was 10 percentage points higher than the rate for women.

These 2003 data on union membership are from the Current Population Survey. Unionization data are for wage and salary workers. Find out more in "Union Members in 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 04-53.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Union membership declines again in 2003 on the Internet at (visited September 21, 2014).


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