Labor Unions Are Back, BLS Confirms

The number of U.S. workers who belong to a union rose by 311,000 to 15.7 million last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. BLS said union members accounted for 12.1 percent of employed wage and salary workers, "essentially unchanged from 12.0 percent in 2006." The growing Service Employees International Union, however, trumpeted the news, saying this is the first time in 25 years that union members' share has increased.

In 1983, which BLS said was the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent.

The union membership rate for public sector workers was 35.9 percent in 2007, about five times higher than for private industry workers (7.5 percent). The category of public sector workers with the highest rate, local government workers, includes teachers, police officers, and firefighters. Private sector industries with high unionization rates include transportation and utilities (22.1 percent), telecommunications (19.7 percent), and construction (13.9 percent), the bureau reported. The union membership rate was higher for men (13.0 percent) than for women (11.1 percent) in 2007 and higher for black workers (14.3 percent) than whites (11.8 percent), Asians (10.9 percent), or Hispanics (9.8 percent).

SEIU said 114,158 new members joined its ranks in 2007 -- a 20 percent increase from the numbers of previous years, and enough to raise this union's ranks to nearly 2 million members. It is successfully organizing janitors and security officers.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2022

    May 2022

    Featuring:

    • WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
      How Wearable Technology is Transforming Safety and the Industrial Workplace
    • TRAINING: CONFINED SPACES
      Five Tips to Improve Safety in Confined Spaces
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Monitor for Asbestos to Help Save Lives
    • PPE: FALL PROTECTION
      Fall Protection Can Be Surprising
    View This Issue