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 figures from the Database 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 2017 CPS posted January 21, 2018
Union data compilations from the 2016 CPS posted February 11, 2017
CPS metro table for 2015 covers Aug 2015-July 2016, initially posted 8/26/2016, revision posted 2/11/2017. Click here for info
Union data compilations from the 2015 CPS posted January 31, 2016
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., 1964-2017 (Hirsch, Macpherson, Vroman, Monthly Labor Review article, union % of total non-ag employment)
Graphics from Colin Gordon (University of Iowa) using data from UnionStats:
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:
Other Union Data and Databases from Bloomberg BNA
Author home pages and e-mail:
© 2002, 2018 by Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson. Use of data requires citation.