February 23, 2009

The Public Service Research Foundation has announced that it has updated its state-by-state, sector by sector tables and charts on employment, union membership and union density for 2008 and is making them available.

Information about union membership is obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey and is released annually in its report on Union Members http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

The Union Members release includes a table on employment and union membership by state, but this doesn’t include a breakdown of the information by industry sectors.

Professors Barry T. Hirsh and David A. Macpherson make annual information on union employment and union membership by state available on their web site "http://www.unionstats.com/". This information is derived from the Current Population Survey.

The Public Service Research Foundation used this information to create a set of tables and charts on employment and union membership for each state. These cover the period 1983 through 2008 to help identify trends.

The tables and charts display employment, union membership and union density (the percent of the workforce that is unionized) total, private, public, manufacturing and construction.

Because construction employment averages only 6 percent of the total workforce the sample size of the survey at the state level makes the data more subject to statistical and sampling error. To improve the accuracy of the information the Foundation applies a five year moving average to the construction data at the state level.

“This information can be of value to public officials and others involved in public policy when making decisions about policies involving labor unions,” said Foundation President David Denholm”

Those interested in obtaining this information may inquire by sending an e-mail to david@psrf.org or by calling 703-242-3575.