2013 Union Membership Rates
In 2013, union membership rates were almost half what they were 30 years ago, falling from 20.1 percent in 1983 to 11.2 percent in 2013. The falling union membership rates, however, have occurred primarily in the private sector, while rates in the public sector have remained fairly stable. From 1983 to 2013, the private sector union membership rate fell from 16.5 percent to 6.7 percent. In the public sector, the rate remained essentially the same: 36.7 percent in 1983 to 35.3 percent in 2013.
Union membership rates vary considerably across states, with private sector membership rates ranging from a low of 1.6 percent in North Carolina to a high of 15.1 percent in New York. For public sector union membership rates, the range is even greater, from a low of 4.9 percent in Mississippi to a high of 66.9 percent in New York.