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The States With The Strongest and Weakest Unions

5. Mississippi
> Workers in Unions: 4.5%
> Unions Workers: 46,250 (9th least)
> Change in Union Membership, 2000 – 2010: -25%
> Government Workers: 214,359 (17th least)
> Total Number of Workers: 1,037,372 (17th least)

Mississippi’s private worker population has a 3.7% union membership rate, the 15th-lowest in the country.  More surprising is the state’s union membership rate for public employees, which stands at only 7.4%.  This is the lowest rate in the country.  Mississippi underwent the second-greatest proportional decrease in employment from 2000 to 2010, with a drop of 7.4%.  In this time period, the percent of total workers who are in unions dropped an overall 25%

4. Louisiana
> Workers in Unions: 4.3%.
> Unions Workers: 75,612 (17th least)
> Change in Union Membership, 2000 – 2010: -39.4%
> Government Workers: 322,647 (24th most)
> Total Number of Workers: 1,742,418 (24th most)

Of Louisiana’s 1,742,000 workers, only 4.3%, or just under 76,000, are union members.  In the private sector, only 3.2% of employees are in unions, the 11th-lowest percentage in the country.  In the public sector, 9.3% of employees are in unions, the second lowest rate in the country.  While employment increased by 1.9% in Louisiana between 2000 and 2009, the amount of union members decreased by 38%.  This is also the second-lowest rate in the country.

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3. Arkansas
> Workers in Unions: 4.04%
> Unions Workers: 43,635 (7th least)
> Change in Union Membership, 2000 – 2010: -31%
> Government Workers: 185,164 (16th least)
> Total Number of Workers: 1,081,711 (18th least)

Arkansas has lost 25% of its public sector unionized jobs in the past ten years, the second-largest decrease in the country. The state now has less than 20,000 public union workers, the fifth-fewest across all states and the fourth-smallest as a percent of the total public workforce. Worse still, private unions have only a 2.7% membership rate.

Click Image to See Larger Chart of % of Workers That Are Union Members

Union Membership, Coverage, Density and Employment by State, (2010)

2. Georgia
> Workers in Unions: 4.04%
> Unions Workers: 153,309 (23rd most)
> Change in Union Membership, 2000 – 2010: -36.5%
> Government Workers: 666,034 (9th most)
> Total Number of Workers: 3,792,128 (9th most)

Only 4% of Georgia’s working population are members of unions. The state has the tenth-largest working force, but only the 23rd-largest body of union workers. The state has the sixth-smallest percentage of its public workers in labor organizations, and the fourth-smallest percentage in private unions. Georgia has lost 73,000 union jobs in the past ten years, 63,000 of which are in the private sector.

1. North Carolina
> Workers in Unions: 3.2%
> Unions Workers: 116,692 (24th least)
> Change in Union Membership, 2000 – 2010: -11.1%
> Government Workers: 663,513 (10th most)
> Total Number of Workers: 3,685,868 (11th most)

North Carolina has the lowest rate of union membership in the country.  Only 117,000 workers out of 3,686,000 are in unions.  For public sector workers, 9.5% are union members, which is the third-lowest rate for public employees in the country.  When it comes to private sector workers, the rate of union members drops to 1.8% — the lowest among all 50 states.  North Carolina’s employment rate has improved by 8.3% from 2000 to 2010, however the percentage of working people who are union members has decreased by 11.1%.

Click Here For The Ten States With The Strongest Unions

-Douglas A. McIntyre, Charles B. Stockdale, Michael B. Sauter

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