Ohio’s union membership decreased in 2019, following a national trend, which saw overall union density and membership throughout the United States decrease slightly as well.
According to the annual report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 there were 610,000 union members in Ohio, a decrease of 29,000 when compared to the prior year. Union members made up 11.9 percent of the state’s workforce. Compared to 2018 data, the Buckeye state’s union density decreased by 0.7 percent.
Also, the number of Ohioans who pay fair-share fees dropped by almost 50,000. This category tracks the number of individuals who are not union members and do not pay union dues, but instead, pay fair-share fees to cover the union’s cost related to contract negotiations and representation on the jobsite.
The overall number of Ohioans represented by unions fell from 722,000 in 2018 to 673,000 in 2019.
Nationwide, union membership decreased from 14.7 million members in 2018 to 14.5 million members in 2019. Since 1983, the first year there is comparable union data available, the number of union workers has dropped by roughly 3.2 million members.
The loss of union workers further shrank the U.S. union density from 10.5 percent (in 2018) to 10.3 percent (in 2019).
Union construction industry density followed the nationwide trend as last year, the overall number of union construction workers increased from 1.04 million to 1.05 million. However, within the construction industry, union membership decreased by 0.2 percent from 12.8 percent to 12.6 percent.
In 2019, union construction workers brought home a full-time median weekly income of $1,257, which is $389 more per week than those working non-union. In 2019, non-union construction workers earned a full-time median weekly income of $868, which is the same as 2018, according to the BLS data.
While overall, non-union construction workers did not receive any wage increases, union construction workers, on average, received $37 more per week than the previous year. This data does not include fringe benefits such as health insurance and retirement benefits.
When the earned full-time median weekly income figures are extended to a full year, union construction workers out earned their non-union counterparts by more than $20,000 last year.