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News Release Information

16-213-DAL
Monday, February 08, 2016

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Technical information:
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  • (972) 850-4800

Union Membership in Texas – 2015

In 2015, union members accounted for 4.5 percent of wage and salary workers in Texas, compared with 4.8 percent in 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the state’s 2015 union membership rate matched the series low previously recorded in 2008; the rate peaked in 1993 when it averaged 7.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Nationwide, union members accounted for 11.1 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2015, the same as in 2014. Since 1989, when comparable state data became available, Texas union membership rates have been below the U.S. average.

 Chart 1. Members of unions as a percent of employed in the United States and Texas, 2005-2015

Texas had 503,000 union members in 2015. In addition to these members, another 123,000 wage and salary workers in Texas 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, 14.8 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2015 and 1.6 million wage and salary workers were not affiliated with a union but had jobs covered by a union contract.

Table A. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers in Texas, annual averages, 2005-2015 (numbers in thousands)
Year Total employed Members of unions (1) Represented by unions (2)
Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed

2005

9,485 506 5.3 590 6.2

2006

9,751 476 4.9 576 5.9

2007

9,899 463 4.7 566 5.7

2008

9,991 449 4.5 559 5.6

2009

9,920 508 5.1 615 6.2

2010

10,025 545 5.4 677 6.7

2011

10,214 534 5.2 643 6.3

2012

10,590 599 5.7 721 6.8

2013

10,877 518 4.8 647 6.0

2014

11,205 543 4.8 700 6.2

2015

11,177 503 4.5 626 5.6

(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 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.

In 2015, 20 states had union membership rates above the U.S. average (11.1 percent), of which 9 had rates above 15.0 percent. (See table 1.) Of the nine states with the highest rates, four bordered the Pacific Ocean, three were located in the Northeast, and two were in the Midwest. (See chart 2.) New York had the highest rate at 24.7 percent, followed by Hawaii (20.4 percent) and Alaska (19.6 percent). New York has had the highest union membership rate in the nation for 19 of the past 21 years.

Thirty states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below the national average in 2015, with five of these states having union membership rates below 5.0 percent. Among these five states, four were located in the South and one in the West. South Carolina had the lowest rate at 2.1 percent, followed by North Carolina (3.0 percent), Utah (3.9 percent), Georgia (4.0 percent), and Texas (4.5 percent). Nationwide, union membership rates increased over the year in 24 states and the District of Columbia, declined in 23 states, and were unchanged in 3 states.

State union membership levels depend on both the employment level and the union membership rate. The largest numbers of union members lived in California (2.5 million) and New York (2.0 million). Roughly half of the 14.8 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.5 million; New York, 2.0 million; Illinois, 0.8 million; Pennsylvania, 0.7 million; and Michigan, Ohio, and New Jersey, 0.6 million each), though these states accounted for only about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.


Technical Note

The estimates in this release are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides 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 eligible households. The union membership data are tabulated from one-quarter of the CPS monthly sample and are limited to wage and salary workers. All self-employed workers are excluded.

Beginning in January of each year, data reflect revised population controls used in the CPS. Additional information about population controls is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/cps/cps15adj.pdf.

Reliability of the estimates

Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. When a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed, there is a chance that the sample estimates may differ from the true population values they represent. The exact difference, or sampling error, varies depending upon the particular sample selected, and this variability is measured by the standard error of the estimate. There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors from the true population value because of sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence. The state discussion in this release preserves the longtime practice of highlighting the direction of the movements in state union membership rates and levels regardless of their statistical significance.

The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error can occur for many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of the population, inability to obtain information for all respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of respondents to provide correct information, and errors made in the collection or processing of the data.

Information about the reliability of data from the CPS and guidance on estimating standard errors is available at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Definitions

The principal definitions used in this release are described briefly below.

Union members. Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union.

Union membership rate. Data refer to the proportion of total wage and salary workers who are union members.

Represented by unions. 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.

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. Union membership and earnings data exclude all self-employed workers, both those with incorporated businesses as well as those with unincorporated businesses.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200, Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers by state, 2014-2015 annual averages (numbers in thousands)
State 2014 2015
Total
employed
Members of unions (1) Represented by
unions (2)
Total
employed
Members of unions (1) Represented by
unions (2)
Total Percent
of
employed
Total Percent
of
employed
Total Percent
of
employed
Total Percent
of
employed

Alabama

1,887 204 10.8 228 12.1 1,863 190 10.2 204 11.0

Alaska

307 70 22.8 75 24.4 304 60 19.6 66 21.7

Arizona

2,593 138 5.3 173 6.7 2,661 138 5.2 163 6.1

Arkansas

1,108 52 4.7 60 5.4 1,155 58 5.1 74 6.4

California

15,135 2,472 16.3 2,652 17.5 15,657 2,486 15.9 2,689 17.2

Colorado

2,328 221 9.5 250 10.7 2,310 194 8.4 215 9.3

Connecticut

1,564 231 14.8 245 15.7 1,587 269 17.0 277 17.4

Delaware

384 38 9.9 43 11.3 412 38 9.2 43 10.4

District of Columbia

325 28 8.6 35 10.7 334 35 10.4 40 12.1

Florida

8,042 455 5.7 561 7.0 7,994 546 6.8 671 8.4

Georgia

3,926 170 4.3 193 4.9 4,016 162 4.0 206 5.1

Hawaii

572 124 21.8 131 22.9 583 119 20.4 126 21.7

Idaho

641 34 5.3 43 6.7 679 46 6.8 50 7.3

Illinois

5,500 831 15.1 880 16.0 5,566 847 15.2 892 16.0

Indiana

2,802 299 10.7 335 12.0 2,828 283 10.0 319 11.3

Iowa

1,459 156 10.7 184 12.6 1,435 138 9.6 174 12.2

Kansas

1,287 95 7.4 116 9.0 1,255 110 8.7 136 10.8

Kentucky

1,714 189 11.0 219 12.8 1,705 187 11.0 207 12.1

Louisiana

1,834 96 5.2 118 6.4 1,847 107 5.8 126 6.8

Maine

566 62 11.0 71 12.5 549 64 11.6 75 13.6

Maryland

2,612 310 11.9 347 13.3 2,757 287 10.4 337 12.2

Massachusetts

3,036 415 13.7 445 14.7 3,103 402 12.9 441 14.2

Michigan

4,028 585 14.5 631 15.7 4,083 621 15.2 672 16.5

Minnesota

2,538 360 14.2 380 15.0 2,565 363 14.2 385 15.0

Mississippi

1,028 38 3.7 46 4.5 1,103 60 5.4 75 6.8

Missouri

2,559 214 8.4 249 9.7 2,615 230 8.8 257 9.8

Montana

414 52 12.7 57 13.8 427 52 12.2 59 13.9

Nebraska

877 64 7.3 79 9.0 882 68 7.7 80 9.0

Nevada

1,173 169 14.4 192 16.4 1,232 177 14.3 203 16.5

New Hampshire

626 62 9.9 72 11.5 641 62 9.7 73 11.4

New Jersey

3,860 635 16.5 664 17.2 3,880 596 15.4 644 16.6

New Mexico

763 43 5.7 56 7.4 782 49 6.2 61 7.9

New York

8,060 1,980 24.6 2,081 25.8 8,249 2,038 24.7 2,141 26.0

North Carolina

3,936 76 1.9 126 3.2 4,089 123 3.0 167 4.1

North Dakota

353 18 5.0 24 6.9 352 19 5.4 24 6.8

Ohio

4,958 615 12.4 688 13.9 4,914 606 12.3 670 13.6

Oklahoma

1,465 89 6.0 106 7.2 1,567 88 5.6 116 7.4

Oregon

1,554 243 15.6 264 17.0 1,586 235 14.8 256 16.2

Pennsylvania

5,525 703 12.7 754 13.7 5,601 747 13.3 804 14.4

Rhode Island

453 68 15.1 72 15.8 483 68 14.2 72 14.9

South Carolina

1,884 41 2.2 61 3.2 1,960 41 2.1 57 2.9

South Dakota

363 18 4.9 22 6.0 382 22 5.9 26 6.9

Tennessee

2,514 127 5.0 141 5.6 2,693 146 5.4 175 6.5

Texas

11,205 543 4.8 700 6.2 11,177 503 4.5 626 5.6

Utah

1,236 46 3.7 57 4.6 1,274 50 3.9 67 5.2

Vermont

286 32 11.1 37 13.1 284 36 12.6 42 14.7

Virginia

3,665 179 4.9 228 6.2 3,736 202 5.4 258 6.9

Washington

2,914 491 16.8 536 18.4 2,977 500 16.8 536 18.0

West Virginia

687 73 10.6 80 11.6 665 83 12.4 91 13.7

Wisconsin

2,626 306 11.7 327 12.5 2,682 223 8.3 253 9.4

Wyoming

255 17 6.7 19 7.5 261 19 7.1 22 8.2

(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 unincorportated businesses. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.



 Chart 2. Union membership rates by state, 2015 annual averages

Last Modified Date: Monday, February 08, 2016

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News Release Information

16-213-DAL
Monday, February 08, 2016

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (972) 850-4800

Union Membership in Texas – 2015

In 2015, union members accounted for 4.5 percent of wage and salary workers in Texas, compared with 4.8 percent in 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the state’s 2015 union membership rate matched the series low previously recorded in 2008; the rate peaked in 1993 when it averaged 7.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Nationwide, union members accounted for 11.1 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2015, the same as in 2014. Since 1989, when comparable state data became available, Texas union membership rates have been below the U.S. average.

 Chart 1. Members of unions as a percent of employed in the United States and Texas, 2005-2015

Texas had 503,000 union members in 2015. In addition to these members, another 123,000 wage and salary workers in Texas 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, 14.8 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2015 and 1.6 million wage and salary workers were not affiliated with a union but had jobs covered by a union contract.

Table A. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers in Texas, annual averages, 2005-2015 (numbers in thousands)
Year Total employed Members of unions (1) Represented by unions (2)
Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed

2005

9,485 506 5.3 590 6.2

2006

9,751 476 4.9 576 5.9

2007

9,899 463 4.7 566 5.7

2008

9,991 449 4.5 559 5.6

2009

9,920 508 5.1 615 6.2

2010

10,025 545 5.4 677 6.7

2011

10,214 534 5.2 643 6.3

2012

10,590 599 5.7 721 6.8

2013

10,877 518 4.8 647 6.0

2014

11,205 543 4.8 700 6.2

2015

11,177 503 4.5 626 5.6

(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 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.

In 2015, 20 states had union membership rates above the U.S. average (11.1 percent), of which 9 had rates above 15.0 percent. (See table 1.) Of the nine states with the highest rates, four bordered the Pacific Ocean, three were located in the Northeast, and two were in the Midwest. (See chart 2.) New York had the highest rate at 24.7 percent, followed by Hawaii (20.4 percent) and Alaska (19.6 percent). New York has had the highest union membership rate in the nation for 19 of the past 21 years.

Thirty states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below the national average in 2015, with five of these states having union membership rates below 5.0 percent. Among these five states, four were located in the South and one in the West. South Carolina had the lowest rate at 2.1 percent, followed by North Carolina (3.0 percent), Utah (3.9 percent), Georgia (4.0 percent), and Texas (4.5 percent). Nationwide, union membership rates increased over the year in 24 states and the District of Columbia, declined in 23 states, and were unchanged in 3 states.

State union membership levels depend on both the employment level and the union membership rate. The largest numbers of union members lived in California (2.5 million) and New York (2.0 million). Roughly half of the 14.8 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.5 million; New York, 2.0 million; Illinois, 0.8 million; Pennsylvania, 0.7 million; and Michigan, Ohio, and New Jersey, 0.6 million each), though these states accounted for only about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.


Technical Note

The estimates in this release are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides 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 eligible households. The union membership data are tabulated from one-quarter of the CPS monthly sample and are limited to wage and salary workers. All self-employed workers are excluded.

Beginning in January of each year, data reflect revised population controls used in the CPS. Additional information about population controls is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/cps/cps15adj.pdf.

Reliability of the estimates

Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. When a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed, there is a chance that the sample estimates may differ from the true population values they represent. The exact difference, or sampling error, varies depending upon the particular sample selected, and this variability is measured by the standard error of the estimate. There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors from the true population value because of sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence. The state discussion in this release preserves the longtime practice of highlighting the direction of the movements in state union membership rates and levels regardless of their statistical significance.

The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error can occur for many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of the population, inability to obtain information for all respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of respondents to provide correct information, and errors made in the collection or processing of the data.

Information about the reliability of data from the CPS and guidance on estimating standard errors is available at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Definitions

The principal definitions used in this release are described briefly below.

Union members. Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union.

Union membership rate. Data refer to the proportion of total wage and salary workers who are union members.

Represented by unions. 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.

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. Union membership and earnings data exclude all self-employed workers, both those with incorporated businesses as well as those with unincorporated businesses.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200, Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers by state, 2014-2015 annual averages (numbers in thousands)
State 2014 2015
Total
employed
Members of unions (1) Represented by
unions (2)
Total
employed
Members of unions (1) Represented by
unions (2)
Total Percent
of
employed
Total Percent
of
employed
Total Percent
of
employed
Total Percent
of
employed

Alabama

1,887 204 10.8 228 12.1 1,863 190 10.2 204 11.0

Alaska

307 70 22.8 75 24.4 304 60 19.6 66 21.7

Arizona

2,593 138 5.3 173 6.7 2,661 138 5.2 163 6.1

Arkansas

1,108 52 4.7 60 5.4 1,155 58 5.1 74 6.4

California

15,135 2,472 16.3 2,652 17.5 15,657 2,486 15.9 2,689 17.2

Colorado

2,328 221 9.5 250 10.7 2,310 194 8.4 215 9.3

Connecticut

1,564 231 14.8 245 15.7 1,587 269 17.0 277 17.4

Delaware

384 38 9.9 43 11.3 412 38 9.2 43 10.4

District of Columbia

325 28 8.6 35 10.7 334 35 10.4 40 12.1

Florida

8,042 455 5.7 561 7.0 7,994 546 6.8 671 8.4

Georgia

3,926 170 4.3 193 4.9 4,016 162 4.0 206 5.1

Hawaii

572 124 21.8 131 22.9 583 119 20.4 126 21.7

Idaho

641 34 5.3 43 6.7 679 46 6.8 50 7.3

Illinois

5,500 831 15.1 880 16.0 5,566 847 15.2 892 16.0

Indiana

2,802 299 10.7 335 12.0 2,828 283 10.0 319 11.3

Iowa

1,459 156 10.7 184 12.6 1,435 138 9.6 174 12.2

Kansas

1,287 95 7.4 116 9.0 1,255 110 8.7 136 10.8

Kentucky

1,714 189 11.0 219 12.8 1,705 187 11.0 207 12.1

Louisiana

1,834 96 5.2 118 6.4 1,847 107 5.8 126 6.8

Maine

566 62 11.0 71 12.5 549 64 11.6 75 13.6

Maryland

2,612 310 11.9 347 13.3 2,757 287 10.4 337 12.2

Massachusetts

3,036 415 13.7 445 14.7 3,103 402 12.9 441 14.2

Michigan

4,028 585 14.5 631 15.7 4,083 621 15.2 672 16.5

Minnesota

2,538 360 14.2 380 15.0 2,565 363 14.2 385 15.0

Mississippi

1,028 38 3.7 46 4.5 1,103 60 5.4 75 6.8

Missouri

2,559 214 8.4 249 9.7 2,615 230 8.8 257 9.8

Montana

414 52 12.7 57 13.8 427 52 12.2 59 13.9

Nebraska

877 64 7.3 79 9.0 882 68 7.7 80 9.0

Nevada

1,173 169 14.4 192 16.4 1,232 177 14.3 203 16.5

New Hampshire

626 62 9.9 72 11.5 641 62 9.7 73 11.4

New Jersey

3,860 635 16.5 664 17.2 3,880 596 15.4 644 16.6

New Mexico

763 43 5.7 56 7.4 782 49 6.2 61 7.9

New York

8,060 1,980 24.6 2,081 25.8 8,249 2,038 24.7 2,141 26.0

North Carolina

3,936 76 1.9 126 3.2 4,089 123 3.0 167 4.1

North Dakota

353 18 5.0 24 6.9 352 19 5.4 24 6.8

Ohio

4,958 615 12.4 688 13.9 4,914 606 12.3 670 13.6

Oklahoma

1,465 89 6.0 106 7.2 1,567 88 5.6 116 7.4

Oregon

1,554 243 15.6 264 17.0 1,586 235 14.8 256 16.2

Pennsylvania

5,525 703 12.7 754 13.7 5,601 747 13.3 804 14.4

Rhode Island

453 68 15.1 72 15.8 483 68 14.2 72 14.9

South Carolina

1,884 41 2.2 61 3.2 1,960 41 2.1 57 2.9

South Dakota

363 18 4.9 22 6.0 382 22 5.9 26 6.9

Tennessee

2,514 127 5.0 141 5.6 2,693 146 5.4 175 6.5

Texas

11,205 543 4.8 700 6.2 11,177 503 4.5 626 5.6

Utah

1,236 46 3.7 57 4.6 1,274 50 3.9 67 5.2

Vermont

286 32 11.1 37 13.1 284 36 12.6 42 14.7

Virginia

3,665 179 4.9 228 6.2 3,736 202 5.4 258 6.9

Washington

2,914 491 16.8 536 18.4 2,977 500 16.8 536 18.0

West Virginia

687 73 10.6 80 11.6 665 83 12.4 91 13.7

Wisconsin

2,626 306 11.7 327 12.5 2,682 223 8.3 253 9.4

Wyoming

255 17 6.7 19 7.5 261 19 7.1 22 8.2

(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 unincorportated businesses. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.



 Chart 2. Union membership rates by state, 2015 annual averages

Last Modified Date: Monday, February 08, 2016