Jun 13, 2022 - News

Virginia union membership lags

A chart that shows how low union membership in Virginia is vs. the rest of the state.
Virginia union membership. Screenshot: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

It's been a big few months for labor unions.

Workers at five Richmond-area Starbucks stores voted to unionize on April 20. Earlier that same week, Richmond Public Schools teachers and staff made official their months-long process to do the same.

Yes, but: The state still lags far behind the rest of the country when it comes to union membership.

  • Union members accounted for nearly 5% of Virginia workers in 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, compared to the national average of 10%.
  • The state's historic high was in 1992 at 9% (although state data has only been available since 1989, BLS notes).
  • Virginia's lowest rate was 3.7% in 2007.

Zoom out: Hawaii has the highest rate at a little over 22%, and South Carolina has the lowest at 1.7%.

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