September 4, 2012 – Today, researchers from the City University of New York issued a new study of unionization trends in New York City, New York State and the nation. Entitled THE STATE OF THE UNIONS 2012, the report highlights the declining presence of organized labor in the private sector in New York City and the growing gap between private and public sector unionization rates. The study also views the effects of job loss during the recession on union density, and identifies industries that have and have not contributed to labor’s decreasing numbers. Third in an annual series, the study looks in particular detail at variations in unionization rates among immigrants, as well as unionization patterns by race, age, sex and industry in the City, State and nation.
In New York City and State, unionization rates are still far higher than in other parts of the nation – about double the national average. New York City has higher union density – 22 percent of the workforce in 2011-12 – than any other major U.S. city, and New York State – at 24 percent - ranks first among the 50 states. In both the City and State density is about double the national level of 12 percent. And over the past decade, erosion of union membership has been far more limited in New York than nationally.
· In New York, the ratio of public-to-private sector union membership is at a record high.
· Unionized employees are older, better paid, and more educated than their non-union counterparts in New York as well as nationally.
· A majority of New York City’s union members are female, reflecting high union density in the education and health care fields, which employ women in higher numbers than men.
· In New York City unionization rates of high school graduates are only slightly lower than those of college graduates. City residents with some college but no four-year degree have the highest unionization rates of all.
· Workers in educational services, health care, and public administration make up almost two thirds of all unionized workers in New York City and State compared to 55 percent of all unionized workers nationwide.
· Other than education and public administration, the most unionized sectors are transportation, utilities, construction, and health care.
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