Union Membership, Coverage, Density, and Employment Among

Private Sector Workers, 1973-2018

Year

Obs

Employment

Members

Covered

%Mem

%Cov

1973

40,245

61,886.5

14,954.1

--

24.2

--

1974

39,422

62,947.5

14,703.8

--

23.4

--

1975

37,609

61,206.2

13,176.8

--

21.5

--

1976

38,669

63,848.0

13,613.5

--

21.3

--

1977

46,052

66,086.4

14,340.5

15,423.5

21.7

23.3

1978

46,470

69,566.3

14,424.7

15,663.1

20.7

22.5

1979

47,018

71,273.1

15,118.0

16,529.5

21.2

23.2

1980

55,246

71,440.7

14,331.6

15,525.7

20.1

21.7

1981

12,637

74,435.5

13,944.4

15,166.6

18.7

20.4

1982

--

--

--

--

--

--

1983

141,311

72,655.7

11,980.2

13,419.9

16.5

18.5

1984

145,104

76,361.4

11,684.0

12,985.6

15.3

17.0

1985

148,185

78,449.2

11,253.0

12,437.5

14.3

15.9

1986

147,678

80,512.0

11,084.7

12,203.9

13.8

15.2

1987

148,698

82,438.4

10,857.3

11,885.2

13.2

14.4

1988

142,409

84,216.8

10,702.4

11,756.3

12.7

14.0

1989

145,372

85,988.9

10,536.2

11,583.1

12.3

13.5

1990

152,197

86,122.5

10,254.8

11,366.4

11.9

13.2

1991

147,112

84,792.8

9,936.5

10,937.8

11.7

12.9

1992

144,911

85,525.4

9,737.2

10,699.5

11.4

12.5

1993

142,859

86,437.9

9,580.3

10,484.0

11.1

12.1

1994

140,651

89,648.6

9,649.4

10,650.6

10.8

11.9

1995

140,723

91,680.5

9,432.1

10,359.8

10.3

11.3

1996

126,229

93,749.9

9,415.0

10,328.4

10.0

11.0

1997

129,035

96,385.8

9,363.3

10,255.0

9.7

10.6

1998

131,129

98,328.9

9,306.1

10,103.6

9.5

10.3

1999

132,817

100,025.4

9,418.6

10,216.0

9.4

10.2

2000

134,554

101,809.9

9,147.7

9,968.5

9.0

9.8

2001

143,041

101,577.3

9,141.3

9,902.7

9.0

9.7

2002

152,871

100,581.4

8,651.5

9,369.7

8.6

9.3

2003

150,050

102,647.6

8,451.8

9,263.7

8.2

9.0

2004

147,496

103,583.6

8,204.5

8,956.2

7.9

8.6

2005

148,598

105,508.4

8,255.0

8,961.6

7.8

8.5

2006

148,602

107,845.6

7,981.3

8,687.7

7.4

8.1

2007

146,614

108,713.8

8,113.6

8,870.0

7.5

8.2

2008

144,506

108,072.6

8,265.2

9,084.4

7.6

8.4

2009

139,413

103,357.3

7,430.8

8,226.1

7.2

8.0

2010

137,980

103,040.4

7,091.9

7,883.6

6.9

7.7

2011

137,410

104,778.4

7,204.5

7,971.9

6.9

7.6

2012

137,861

107,230.2

7,029.9

7.844.3

6.6

7.3

2013

137,988

108,724.3

7,312.7

8,122.1

6.7

7.5

2014

139,486

111,259.5

7,356.0

8,219.3

6.6

7.4

2015

137,826

113,193.2

7,552.4

8,410.1

6.7

7.4

2016

138,525

115,462.2

7,436.2

8,438.1

6.4

7.3

2017

136,904

116,961.4

7,600.2

8,490.9

6.5

7.3

2018

133,898

119,010.9

7,578.0

8,512.4

6.4

7.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data sources: For the years 1973-81 the May Current Population (CPS). For the years

1983-2018 the CPS Outgoing Rotation Group (ORG) Earnings Files. There were no

union questions in the 1982 CPS. Sample includes wage and salary workers, ages

16 and over. Variable definitions are: Obs=CPS sample size; Employment=wage and

salary employment in thousands, Members=employed workers who are union members

in thousands, Covered=workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement in

thousands, %Mem=percent of employed workers who are union members, and

%Cov=percent of employed workers who are covered by a collective bargaining

agreement. The definition of union membership was expanded in 1977 to include

"employee associations similar to a union".

2019 by Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson. The use of data requires citation.