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Union Membership — By Occupation

February 3, 2017

Union Membership -- By Occupation

In 2016  14.5 million workers belonged to a union.  Of those 7.1 million were in the public sector compared to 7.4 million in the private sector.  However, the union membership rate for public sector works at 34.4% was substantially higher than the rate for the private sector which was 6.4%.

Among occupational groups the highest unionization rates were in education, training, and library occupations at 34.6%, followed by workers in protective service organization which includes police officers and firefighters at 34.5%.  The lowest unionization rates were in farming, fishing and forestry occupations (2.2%) , sales and related occupations (3.1%), computer and math (3.9%), food preparation and serving-related occupations (3.9%).

Stephen Sifer


Charleston, S.C.

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