Washington DC – The union membership rate in the U.S. in 2018 dropped 0.2 percent from 2017 after remaining unchanged from 2016 to 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The overall percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union was 10.5 percent last year with 14.7 million union workers. The total number of union members has dropped nearly in half since 1983. That year the membership rate was 20.1 percent with 17.7 million union workers.
Membership in construction unions decreased in 2018, with 1,048,000 total union members, or 12.8 percent of the construction workers. That’s down from 14 percent in 2017 when there were 1,102,000 members in construction unions. The rate of construction workers represented by unions fell from 14.7 percent in 2017 to 13.8 percent in 2018.
In 2018 the medium weekly earnings of fulltime construction workers ($1,220) continues at a significant higher rate than those independent of a union ($819).
Last year, 29 states and Washington, D.C., had union membership rates below that of the U.S. average. Overall union membership grew in 23 states and Washington, D.C., in 2018. the highest membership included Hawaii with membership of 23.1 percent and NY 22.3 percent. The lowest is South Carolina with 2.7 percent.