New Jersey ranks 8th in union membership, BLS stats show

Union membership in New Jersey stayed steady from 2011 to 2012 and New Jersey ranks 8th in the nation for the percentage of union members to the overall workforce, according to figures released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of the state’s 3.8 million workers, 611,000, or 16.1 percent, are union members while an additional 25,000 are represented by unions, meaning they are not members but their wages are covered by union contracts. 

Those numbers are down only slightly from 2011, when 615,000 workers were union members and another 26,000 were represented, but the overall workforce dropped over the same period, leaving the number percentage of union-represented employees flat.

New Jersey’s 16.1 percent membership places the state 8th in the nation, behind Alaska, California, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island and Washington State.

Nationally, union membership was off a half of a percent from 2011 to 2012, dropping from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent.

In total, just under 400,000 fewer workers identified themselves as union members in 2012 than in 2011.

The year over year drop continues a trend seen in the U.S. for the past 30 years. In that time, union membership has dropped by more than 20 percent as nearly 3.5 million workers have dropped from the ranks of union members.

"I don't think what he's doing tonight, the method by which he's doing it helps to build a trustful relationship."
—Gov. Chris Christie reacting to President Barack Obama's speech on immigration reform.