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The Short Answer
What Percentage of U.S. Workers Are Union Members?
The Short Answer

What Percentage of U.S. Workers Are Union Members?

Editor's Note: This article was revised Sept. 1, 2022, with Gallup's latest data pertaining to labor unions.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Twelve percent of U.S. workers employed full or part time belong to a labor union, according to recent Gallup polling.

More generally, 9% of all U.S. adults -- working and nonworking -- say they are union members, while 16% of U.S. adults live in a union household.

An analysis of Gallup's 2021-2022 Work and Education surveys finds the following demographic differences in union membership among U.S. workers.

  • More than one in three workers employed by the government (37%) belong to a union, versus 7% of all private sector employees.
  • Workers in the South are the least likely of any U.S. region to report being part of a union, with 6% saying they belong. That is roughly half or less of the percentages reported by employees in the East (11%), Midwest (14%) and West (17%).
  • Fifteen percent of workers reporting an annual household income of $100,000 or more are members of a union, compared with 12% of those in households earning between $40,000 and $99,999 annually and 6% of those in households earning less than $40,000 per year.
  • Across age groups, union membership is highest among workers aged 55 and older (16%), compared with workers aged 35 to 54 (12%) and 18 to 34 (8%).
  • Reflecting the strong public sector skew to union membership, the more educated an employee is, the more likely they are to be a member of a labor union. The rate is highest, at 18%, among workers with a postgraduate degree. Workers with a high school degree or less (8%) are the least likely to be union members.
  • There are no significant differences in union membership across gender or political party groups.

Gallup measures labor union membership each August as part of its Work and Education poll -- one of 12 surveys that make up the Gallup Poll Social Series.

Explore more Gallup articles about labor unions on the Unions Topics page.

Explore Gallup questions and trends about labor unions on Gallup's Topics A-Z: Labor Unions page.

For more articles in the "Short Answer" series, visit Gallup's The Short Answer page.

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