Special Report

Union Membership In All 50 States

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This Labor Day, a large share of the American workforce will enjoy a long weekend, thanks to the history of union representation in this country. The very first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City in 1882, a product of planning by the Central Labor Union. Even the weekend as we know it today was a hard-fought right won through organized labor. 

While in some states unions have lost most of their power, in others, unions still have clout. To identify the states with the highest union membership, 24/7 Wall St. used union membership data from Union Stats, a resource compiled using the Current Population Survey and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Union data is current as of Feb. 1, 2022. Ten-year changes in membership and employment are also from Union Stats, while average yearly wage is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. 

In addition to challenges by competition from abroad, organized labor has been confronted by robust and sophisticated management tactics to keep unions out of the workplace. (Unions have tactics too. Here are 31 of the largest worker strikes in American history.)

A recent Gallup Poll found public approval about unions is at its highest level since 1965, at 71%. (These are states with the most unfair dismissals.)

Organized labor has scored some recent victories. In July, the California state legislature sent a bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom, which would allow the state the power to regulate conditions and wages at fast food restaurants.

Amazon workers at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York — a state with one of the higher percentages of union members — voted in early April to join a union. Since then, another warehouse in Staten Island and one in Bessemer, Alabama have unionized as well. 

Since December 2021, more than 110 Starbucks across the country have voted to unionize, compared to just 13 that voted against.  A Buffalo store was the first Starbucks to unionize in December.

Click here to see states with the highest union membership

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

50. South Carolina
> Workers in a labor union: 1.7% (total: 34,770)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.8 ppt. (15th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $47,490 (5th lowest)

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Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

49. North Carolina
> Workers in a labor union: 2.6% (total: 108,124)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -0.4 ppt. (7th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $53,100 (22nd lowest)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

48. Utah
> Workers in a labor union: 3.5% (total: 51,009)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -2.3 ppt. (8th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $53,400 (24th highest)

Source: f11photo / iStock via Getty Images

47. Texas
> Workers in a labor union: 3.8% (total: 452,916)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.5 ppt. (23rd highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $54,230 (22nd highest)

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Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

46. Arkansas
> Workers in a labor union: 3.9% (total: 45,503)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -0.3 ppt. (6th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $46,500 (3rd lowest)

Source: peeterv / iStock via Getty Images

45. South Dakota
> Workers in a labor union: 4.0% (total: 15,624)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.1 ppt. (23rd lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $46,810 (4th lowest)

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44. Idaho
> Workers in a labor union: 4.7% (total: 35,741)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -0.5 ppt. (8th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $47,940 (7th lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

43. Louisiana
> Workers in a labor union: 4.7% (total: 80,764)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.2 ppt. (4th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $47,740 (6th lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

42. Virginia
> Workers in a labor union: 4.8% (total: 175,451)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.2 ppt. (3rd lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $62,330 (10th highest)

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41. Georgia
> Workers in a labor union: 4.8% (total: 210,782)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.8 ppt. (16th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $53,940 (23rd highest)

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

40. Tennessee
> Workers in a labor union: 5.1% (total: 144,802)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.5 ppt. (10th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $49,330 (11th lowest)

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39. Florida
> Workers in a labor union: 5.2% (total: 448,788)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.1 ppt. (25th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $51,950 (19th lowest)

Source: Davel5957 / iStock via Getty Images

38. Arizona
> Workers in a labor union: 5.4% (total: 167,407)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -0.6 ppt. (11th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $55,170 (20th highest)

Source: rruntsch / iStock via Getty Images

37. North Dakota
> Workers in a labor union: 5.4% (total: 18,787)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -0.9 ppt. (19th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $53,380 (25th highest)

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36. Mississippi
> Workers in a labor union: 5.5% (total: 58,956)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.5 ppt. (9th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $42,700 (the lowest)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

35. Oklahoma
> Workers in a labor union: 5.6% (total: 86,591)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -0.8 ppt. (15th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $48,360 (10th lowest)

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34. Wyoming
> Workers in a labor union: 5.7% (total: 13,369)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.5 ppt. (22nd highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $52,110 (21st lowest)

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

33. Alabama
> Workers in a labor union: 5.9% (total: 114,509)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -4.1 ppt. (6th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $48,110 (8th lowest)

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

32. Colorado
> Workers in a labor union: 6.5% (total: 164,654)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.7 ppt. (18th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $62,900 (9th highest)

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31. Iowa
> Workers in a labor union: 6.5% (total: 92,820)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -4.7 ppt. (3rd highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $51,140 (16th lowest)

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

30. Nebraska
> Workers in a labor union: 6.8% (total: 60,854)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.1 ppt. (22nd lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $52,110 (21st lowest)

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Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

29. Kentucky
> Workers in a labor union: 7.2% (total: 124,914)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.7 ppt. (17th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $48,170 (9th lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

28. New Mexico
> Workers in a labor union: 7.5% (total: 57,924)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.7 ppt. (13th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $51,860 (18th lowest)

Source: tadphoto / iStock via Getty Images

27. Wisconsin
> Workers in a labor union: 7.9% (total: 214,513)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -5.4 ppt. (2nd highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $53,120 (23rd lowest)

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Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

26. Missouri
> Workers in a labor union: 9.0% (total: 235,212)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.9 ppt. (13th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $51,390 (17th lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

25. Indiana
> Workers in a labor union: 9.0% (total: 255,682)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -2.2 ppt. (10th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $50,440 (14th lowest)

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24. Kansas
> Workers in a labor union: 9.2% (total: 119,600)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 1.6 ppt. (21st highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $49,680 (13th lowest)

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

23. West Virginia
> Workers in a labor union: 9.6% (total: 66,552)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -4.2 ppt. (4th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $46,490 (2nd lowest)

22. Delaware
> Workers in a labor union: 9.8% (total: 42,402)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -0.7 ppt. (12th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $59,820 (13th highest)

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Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

21. New Hampshire
> Workers in a labor union: 10.0% (total: 64,561)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.0 ppt. (20th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $59,270 (16th highest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

20. Maryland
> Workers in a labor union: 10.9% (total: 293,969)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.5 ppt. (24th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $65,900 (7th highest)

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19. Montana
> Workers in a labor union: 11.2% (total: 49,002)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.8 ppt. (16th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $49,340 (12th lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

18. Ohio
> Workers in a labor union: 12.0% (total: 595,828)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.4 ppt. (25th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $53,170 (24th lowest)

Source: photoquest7 / iStock via Getty Images

17. Nevada
> Workers in a labor union: 12.2% (total: 152,243)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -2.5 ppt. (7th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $51,080 (15th lowest)

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16. Vermont
> Workers in a labor union: 12.3% (total: 32,359)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.3 ppt. (5th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $55,450 (19th highest)

Source: WoodysPhotos / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

15. Maine
> Workers in a labor union: 12.4% (total: 69,648)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 1.1 ppt. (21st lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $53,230 (25th lowest)

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14. Massachusetts
> Workers in a labor union: 12.6% (total: 401,304)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -2.0 ppt. (12th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $72,940 (the highest)

Source: benedek / iStock via Getty Images

13. Pennsylvania
> Workers in a labor union: 12.9% (total: 692,313)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.7 ppt. (19th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $55,490 (18th highest)

Source: ehrlif / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

12. Michigan
> Workers in a labor union: 13.3% (total: 538,701)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -4.2 ppt. (5th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $55,160 (21st highest)

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11. Illinois
> Workers in a labor union: 13.9% (total: 752,063)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -2.3 ppt. (9th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $59,650 (15th highest)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

10. Connecticut
> Workers in a labor union: 14.6% (total: 222,159)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -2.2 ppt. (11th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $66,130 (6th highest)

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9. Alaska
> Workers in a labor union: 15.7% (total: 45,998)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -6.4 ppt. (the highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $63,480 (8th highest)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

8. Rhode Island
> Workers in a labor union: 15.8% (total: 74,781)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.6 ppt. (20th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $62,120 (11th highest)

Source: bluejayphoto / iStock via Getty Images

7. California
> Workers in a labor union: 15.9% (total: 2,468,918)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.1 ppt. (24th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $68,510 (4th highest)

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6. Minnesota
> Workers in a labor union: 15.9% (total: 416,340)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.9 ppt. (18th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $60,480 (12th highest)

Source: Aneese / iStock via Getty Images

5. New Jersey
> Workers in a labor union: 16.2% (total: 608,805)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.1 ppt. (2nd lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $67,120 (5th highest)

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4. Oregon
> Workers in a labor union: 17.8% (total: 318,007)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.7 ppt. (14th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $59,070 (17th highest)

Source: roman_slavik / iStock via Getty Images

3. Washington
> Workers in a labor union: 19.0% (total: 627,642)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.04 ppt. (the lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $68,740 (3rd highest)

Source: TomasSereda / iStock via Getty Images

2. New York
> Workers in a labor union: 22.2% (total: 1,727,739)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): -1.8 ppt. (14th highest)
> Avg. annual wage: $70,460 (2nd highest)

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1. Hawaii
> Workers in a labor union: 22.4% (total: 120,906)
> Change in union membership (2011-2021): 0.9 ppt. (17th lowest)
> Avg. annual wage: $59,760 (14th highest)

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