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In 2006, 12.0 percent of employed wage and salary workers were union members, down from 12.5 percent a year earlier. The union membership rate has steadily declined from 20.1 percent in 1983, the first year for which comparable data are available.
The union membership rate was higher for men (13.0 percent) than for women (10.9 percent) in 2006. The gap between their rates has narrowed considerably since 1983, when the rate for men was about 10 percentage points higher than the rate for women. This narrowing occurred because the union membership rate for men declined more rapidly than the rate for women over the period.
Black workers were more likely to be union members (14.5 percent) than were whites (11.7 percent), Asians (10.4 percent), or Hispanics (9.8 percent).
These 2006 data on union membership are from the Current Population Survey. Unionization data are for wage and salary workers. Find out more in "Union Members in 2006" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 07-0113.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Union membership in 2006 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/jan/wk4/art05.htm (visited March 24, 2023).