Union Membership and Coverage Database from the CPS
The Union Membership and Coverage Database, available at www.unionstats.com, is an Internet data resource providing private and public sector labor union membership, coverage, and density estimates compiled from the monthly household Current Population Survey (CPS) using BLS methods. Economy-wide estimates are provided beginning in 1973; estimates by state, detailed industry, and detailed occupation begin in 1983; and estimates by metropolitan area begin in 1986. The Database, constructed by Barry Hirsch (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University) and David Macpherson (Department of Economics, Trinity University), was created in 2002 and is updated annually.
To access union data tables, click on links in the left-side index
Use of data from Unionstats.com requires citation.
A description of the Database is provided in the paper below, available in pdf.
Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson, "Union Membership and Coverage Database from the Current Population Survey: Note," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 56, No. 2, January 2003, pp. 349-54 (updated annually at unionstats.com). (pdf)
Union data compilations from the 2018 CPS completed February 4, 2019
Union data compilations from the 2017 CPS completed January 21, 2018
Note: CPS sample sizes (denoted by "Obs") are very small for some cells. Use such union estimates cautiously.
CPS Documentation Files and Links:
Additional Labor Union Databases:
State Union Density in the U.S., 1964-2018 (Hirsch, Macpherson, Vroman, Monthly Labor Review article, union % of total non-agricultural employment)
Graphics from Colin Gordon (University of Iowa) using data from UnionStats:
NEW: "State of the Unions" (2019) in Dissent Magazine. Graphics showing state union densities over time from Unionstats. Very nice!
Right to Work By the Numbers (2016), includes graphics and discussion of RTW
Mappings of Union Membership and Density (2013), 3-yr moving averages of national & state data;
Labor Union Data from Bloomberg BNA:
Union Membership and Earnings Data Book, Annual, from Bloomberg BNA, by Hirsch and Macpherson
Other Union Data and Databases from Bloomberg BNA
Author home pages and e-mail:
© 2002, 2019 by Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson. Use of data requires citation.