fbpx Skip to content

Union membership declines in New York, other states

A recent report by The74Million noted that overall union membership declined or barely increased in several states, despite growth in public-sector jobs in 2022.

Because of the rapid public-sector job growth, public unions had a net increase of about 83,000 new members nationwide, maintaining membership rates at 33%. Most of the public-sector union membership rate growth was in California, which added 250,000 new government jobs and resulted in over 111,000 new union members.

But other states did not follow California’s lead. The report said, “21 states and the District of Columbia lost 284,517 members, for a net decline of 28,021 outside of California. New York and Minnesota were the biggest losers.”

The report found large losses in New York, Minnesota, and Virginia:

  • New York’s union membership decline was significant, losing 39,078 members between 2021 and 2022 (or a 4.62% decline).
  • In Minnesota, union membership fell by 37,749 members, which was a 17% decrease.
  • Meanwhile, Virginia’s unions could not stop the metaphorical bleeding; there were 27,456 fewer union members over the same time frame. Or, in other words, it lost over a third of its members (34%) in a single year.

However, there were mixed results in other states like Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Colorado:

  • In Pennsylvania, union membership grew by a paltry 1%, or 3,903 members.
  • Connecticut public-sector unions saw one of the largest year-to-year increases in membership, which was an increase of 13,590 members (almost a 10% increase).
  • For Colorado’s unions, there was a slight uptick in union membership of 4,367, or 5%, in the same time frame.

Despite these figures, overall union membership is at its lowest levels ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Spencer Irvine

Spencer Irvine is Senior Writer & Researcher at Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector employees offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Spencer previously worked in state government, in communications for a non-profit advocacy organization, and held various administrative and communications roles at a media analysis organization. He has a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brigham Young University. He lives in Arizona with his wife, is an avid history buff and enjoys touring historic sites.