Union Membership up Slightly in Construction Industry

While national and state numbers show no change in union density, the construction industry saw its membership grow by nearly 1 percent last year.

According to a recently released annual report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership in the United States grew by 262,000 members in 2017, from 14.5 million to 14.8 million. The overall U.S. union density stayed the same, at 10.7 percent, despite the addition of over 250,000 union jobs due to the overall high number of new jobs created last year.

Last year, the overall number of union construction workers increased from 1.17 million to 1.26 million. Within the construction industry, union membership increased nearly 1 percent from 18.4 percent to 19.3 percent.

The BLS study showed union construction workers once again earned more than non-union workers.

Last year, union construction workers brought home a full-time median weekly income of $1,136, which is $402 more per week than those working non-union. In 2017, non-union construction workers earned a full-time median weekly income of $734.

When the figures are extended to a full year, union construction workers will earn a full-time median income of just under $21,000 more per year than their non-union counterparts.

Specific state-related occupation and income figures from 2017 are currently not available.

Despite an increase in union construction workers, there remains a need for more highly trained and highly skilled building trades members. Click here to learn more about these in-demand careers, which pay union members better than non-union members.

Overall, in Ohio in 2017, there were 635,000 union members, who made up 12.5 percent of the state’s workforce. This was an increase of 18,000 union members.

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