Union membership in Illinois dropped nearly 2 percent in 2012 to its lowest total since 2007, and about 6.5 percent below its high mark in 1993, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
A release on Tuesday from the department Bureau of Labor Statistics said there were 801,000 wage and salary workers in Illinois who were union members in 2012, and another 51,000 represented by a union on their main job or covered by an employee association or contract while not being union members.
The percentage of workers who were union members in 2012 was 14.6 percent, down from 16.2 percent in 2011, according to the bureau. That is the lowest since 2007, when union membership was at 14.5 percent of the workforce.
Nationwide, 14.4 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2012, and 1.6 million workers were not affiliated with a union but had jobs covered by a union contract, the release said.
The union membership rate for the state was at its peak in 1993, when it averaged 21.0 percent, according to the BLS. Nationally, union members accounted for 11.3 percent of employed wage and salary workers, down from 11.8 percent in 2011.
About half of the 14.4 million union members in the United States lived in just seven states (California, 2.5 million; New York, 1.8 million; Illinois, 800,000; Pennsylvania, 700,000; and Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio, 600,000 each), according to the BLS, though these states accounted for only about one-third of employment nationally.
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