by Greg David
Like the rest of the country, the percentage of workers who belong to a union in New York state is declining. But some things never change: New York remains the most unionized state in the nation and is much more heavily organized than the adjacent states for which it competes for jobs.
Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only 11.3% of American workers were unionized in 2012, down from 11.8% the year before. The number declined in New York too, dropping from 24.1% to 23.2%.
Here is the percent of unionized workers in New York over the past six years, starting with the boom year of 2007.
Year % unionized
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Nationally about one-third of public sector workers belong to unions while only 7% of private sector workers are members. New York figures were not immediately available, but a report issued by the Murphy Institute of the City University of New York in September showed 13% of the private sector was organized and 73% of government employees. The 73% number is the most important one of all. New York’s No. 1 ranking is a result of the fact that such a huge percentage of the public belongs to unions compared with other states. (The Murphy Institute usually updates its study in the fall).
The BLS report maps the country and when you look at it, New York is only one of the 48 states with a number higher than 20%. (Alaska and Hawaii with their very unique economies remain almost as unionized as New York.)
Washington is No. 2 at 18.5%, followed by Rhode Island and California. New York competitors like New Jersey (16.1%), Pennsylvania (13.5%) and Connecticut (14%) are far less unionized and are in the middle of the pack for the Northeast and Midwest.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
by Greg David