In 2008, union members accounted for 12.4 percent of employed wage and salary workers, up from 12.1 percent a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported January 28, 2009. The number of workers belonging to a union rose by 428,000 to 16.1 million. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers (USDL 09-0095, Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The data on union membership were collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households that obtains information on employment and unemployment among the nation's civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over.
Some highlights from the 2008 data are:
The full text of the report can be found at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf.
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