New Jersey had 644,000 union members in 2016, plus another 22,000 wage and salary workers in New Jersey were represented by a union on their main jb or covered by an employee association or contract while not union members themselves.
Nationwide, 14.6 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2016 and 1.7 million wage and salary workers were not affiliated with a union but had jobs covered by a union contract.
In 2016, union members accounted for 16.1 percent of wage and salary workers in New Jersey, compared with 15.4 percent in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli said New York has the highest union membership rate in the nation at 23.6 percent, followed by Hawaii (19.9 percent) and Alaska (18.5 percent).
In 2016, 23 states had union membership rates above the U.S. average, while 27 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below the national average of 10.7 percent in 2016.
Nationwide, union members accounted for 10.7 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2016, down 0.4 percentage point from 2015.
Since 1989, when comparable state data became available, both New York and New Jersey union membership rates have been above the U.S. average.
The largest numbers of union members lived in California (2.6 million) and New York (1.9 million). Over half of the 14.6 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.6 million; New York, 1.9 million; Illinois, 0.8 million; Pennsylvania, 0.7 million; and Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio, 0.6 million each), though these states accounted for only about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.
These estimates 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.
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