Private-Sector Union Rate Fell Slightly in 2014

The percentage of private-sector workers represented by unions has remained more or less stagnant, according to Labor Department figures released last week, which show a .1 percent decline in representation to 7.4 percent.

In the public sector, the unionization rate rose by half a percentage point to 39.2 percent. This represents the first increase in this metric since 2009, according to the Bureau of National Affairs.

Among private-sector employees in 2014, about 8.2 million were covered by union contracts, an increase of 96,000 from 2013. However, total employment increased by 2.5 million. Total employment’s outpacing of union contract coverage accounts for the overall drop in the share of all workers represented.