January 28, 2008
In 2007, union members accounted for 12.1 percent of employed wage and salary workers, essentially unchanged from 12.0 percent in 2006. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent.
The union membership rate was higher for men (13.0 percent) than for women (11.1 percent) in 2007. The gap between their rates has narrowed considerably since 1983, when the rate for men was about 10 percentage points higher than the rate for women. The rates for both men and women declined between 1983 and 2007, but the rate for men declined much more rapidly.
Black workers were more likely to be union members (14.3 percent) than were whites (11.8 percent), Asians (10.9 percent) or Hispanics (9.8 percent).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Union membership in 2007 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2008/jan/wk4/art01.htm (visited November 26, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.