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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?

by Zach Hrynowski

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As Americans prepare to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Labor Day on Monday, Gallup's latest measurement on labor union membership finds that 10% of full- and part-time U.S. workers belong to a union. This marks the second year in a row of the lowest level of union membership in over 15 years: from 2003 to 2017, union workers made up an average of 13% of the American workforce.

  • Over one-third of government employees (37%) belong to a union, versus 6% 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 5% saying they belong to a union. That contrasts with 15% and 14% of workers in the East and West, respectively. In the Midwest -- where organized labor and right-to-work laws have been the subject of intense political debate in recent years -- 10% of workers say they are union members.

  • 14% of workers reporting an annual household income of $100,000 or more are members of a union, compared with 3% of those in households earning less than $40,000 per year.

  • Employed Americans aged 35 to 54 (13%) are more than twice as likely as those aged 18 to 34 (6%) to be members of organized labor.

Labor Union Membership Among U.S. Workers, 2018-2019
Based on U.S. adults employed full or part time
Member of a union Number of interviews
% n
Employed U.S. adults 10 1294
Gender
Men 9 800
Women 12 494
Age
18 to 34 6 326
35 to 54 13 562
55+ 10 388
College graduate
Yes 13 668
No 9 609
Household income
$100,000+ 14 506
$40,000 to <$100,000 11 517
<$40,000 3 182
Race/Ethnicity
Non-Hispanic white 12 891
Non-white 8 356
Region
East 15 278
Midwest 10 262
South 5 447
West 14 307
Job type
Non-profit employee 15 111
Private sector employee 6 693
Government employee 37 203
Self-employed 2 256
Party ID
Democrat 15 329
Independent 8 551
Republican 11 378
Based on aggregated data from August 2018 and August 2019
Gallup

Gallup measures American 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.

Gallup's full trend on labor union membership is available on the Labor Unions "Topics A to Z" page.

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

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Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/265958/percentage-workers-union-members.aspx
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