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Oregon sees union membership rate decline in 2023, still among top 10 in U.S.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVZ) -- In 2023, union members accounted for 14.1 percent of wage and salary workers in Oregon, compared with 15.5 percent in 2022, the ninth-highest rate in the nation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.

Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that the union membership rate for the state was at its peak in 1989, when it averaged 21.6 percent, and at its low point in 2016 at 13.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.)

Nationwide, union members accounted for 10.0 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2023. The rate was little changed from the previous year.

Since 1989, when comparable state data became available, union membership rates in Oregon have been above the U.S. average.

Oregon had 255,000 union members in 2023. In addition to these members, another 15,000 wage and salary workers in Oregon were represented by a union on their main job or covered by an employee association or contract while not union members themselves.

Nationwide, 14.4 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2023 and 1.8 million wage and salary workers were not affiliated with a union but had jobs covered by a union contract. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions (14.4 million) showed little movement from 2022.

In 2023, 31 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below the U.S. average (10.0 percent), while 19 states had rates above it. (See table 1.) Eleven states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent in 2023. South Carolina had the lowest rate (2.3 percent). The next lowest rates were in North Carolina (2.7 percent) and South Dakota (3.6 percent). Two states had union membership rates over 20.0 percent in 2023: Hawaii (24.1 percent) and New York (20.6 percent). (See map 1.)

Technical Note

The estimates in this release are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides basic information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. The survey is conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau from a scientifically selected national sample of about 60,000 eligible households. The union membership data are tabulated from one-quarter of the CPS monthly sample and are limited to wage and salary workers. All self-employed workers are excluded.

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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