Unionization rate hit all-time low in 2022 despite growth in overall members
The percentage of American workers who are members of a union fell to a new low in 2022 despite the total number of unionized workers increasing.
Driving the news: 10.1% of workers were unionized in 2022, down from 10.3% in 2021 and a high of 20.1% in 1983, the first year the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported comparable figures.
Why it matters: Unions play a powerful role in the workforce, with advocates saying they advance worker rights while critics say they stymie progress.
By the numbers: The workforce added 273,000 unionized jobs in 2022, up 1.9% from 2021.
- But the number of total jobs increased by 5.3 million, a 3.9% jump, outpacing the growth in union roles.
- 71% of Americans approved of labor unions in 2022, the highest mark recorded by Gallup since 1965.
- But companies like Starbucks and Amazon have resisted unionization efforts, arguing that they'd be better off without them.
Zoom in: The rate of union membership among public-sector workers is five times greater than the rate of private-sector employees — 33.1% to 6%, according to the BLS.
- Median weekly compensation for union members was $1,216 in 2022, compared with $1,029 for nonunion workers.
The bottom line: Unions have momentum in the public square, but that hasn't yet translated into a greater share of the workforce.