US Private Sector
Trade Union Market Share
Falls Again in 2000

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Data released in January 2001 by the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that US private sector trade union membership (2000) has dropped to 9.0 percent of private non-agricultural employment.

  • The 2000 market share represents a 4.6 percent market share loss from 1999, which equals the 1994 to 1995 loss. The last larger loss was in 1984.

  • Private sector union membership was last below the 2000 level in 1901, when it was 7.7 percent. Trade unions appear on a glidepath to the lowest market share in 100 years in 2001.

  • Private sector union membership fell by 271,000 to 9,148,000, the lowest level since 1941.

Year Private Sector Union Membership Percentage of Private Sector Employees
1900 917 6.5%
1901 1,167 7.7%
1902 1,500 9.3%
1903 1,908 11.5%
1904 1,995 12.2%
1905 1,923 11.1%
1910 2,109 10.5%
1915 2,508 12.2%
1920 4,664 19.2%
1925 3,495 13.2%
1930 3,482 13.3%
1935 3,337 14.2%
1940 6,848 24.3%
1941 8,268 25.9%
1942 9,716 28.1%
1943 11,182 30.8%
1944 11,598 32.4%
1945 11,674 33.9%
1950 13,550 34.6%
1955 15,341 35.1%
1956 17,114 38.0%
1958 16,871 39.0%
1960 16,907 37.0%
1962 16,390 35.0%
1964 16,403 34.0%
1966 17,409 33.0%
1968 17,939 32.0%
1970 18,295 31.0%
1972 18,181 30.0%
1974 18,538 29.0%
1976 17,882 28.0%
1978 17,834 26.0%
1980 15,273 20.6%
1983 11,933 16.8%
1984 11,646 15.5%
1985 11,226 14.6%
1986 11,051 14.0%
1987 10,827 13.4%
1988 10,694 12.9%
1989 10,541 12.4%
1990 10,247 12.1%
1991 9,898 11.9%
1992 9,703 11.5%
1993 9,554 11.2%
1994 9,620 10.9%
1995 9,400 10.4%
1996 9,385 10.2%
1997 9,363 9.8%
1998 9,306 9.5%
1999 9,419 9.4%
2000 9,148 9.0%

Sources
US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
Leo Troy & Neil Sheflin, Union Sourcebook
US Census Bureau

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