A publication of the Indiana Business Research Center at IU's Kelley School of Business
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Union Membership in Indiana

With the recent passage of the right-to-work legislation, union membership has been a hot topic lately. This article briefly highlights a few statistics on union membership in Indiana using new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2011, Indiana had 302,000 union members. Meanwhile, an additional 31,000 Hoosiers are represented by unions (i.e., they report no union affiliation but have jobs covered by a union contract).

Union Members

Indiana ranks 22nd among states in the percent of workers who are members of a union (11.3 percent)ówith other states ranging from 24.1 percent in New York to 2.9 percent in North Carolina (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Percent of Workers Who Are Union Members, 2011

Figure 1: Percent of Workers Who Are Union Members, 2011

Source: IBRC, using Bureau of Labor Statistics data

Since 2001, union membership in Indiana has declined 24 percent (see Figure 2), compared to a 10 percent drop nationwide. Nationally, the District of Columbia, Louisiana and Georgia each saw union membership drop more than 40 percent, while 15 states saw increases (led by Oregon with a gain of 18 percent). Indiana has seen a small uptick in union membership since 2009, when it reached a low of 277,000.

Figure 2: Union Members in Indiana, 2001 to 2011

Figure 2: Union Members in Indiana, 2001-2011

Source: IBRC, using Bureau of Labor Statistics data

Represented by Unions

In total, 333,000 Hoosiers are represented by a union (12.4 percent of all workers). Indiana's change in union representation has followed the same basic path as union membership, declining 22 percent since 2001. Figure 3 illustrates how changes varied across the nation, ranging from a 48 percent decline in the District of Columbia to a 30 percent increase in Arizona.

Figure 3: Change in Union Representation, 2001 to 2011

Figure 3: Change in Union Representation, 2001-2011

Source: IBRC, using Bureau of Labor Statistics data

Visit States IN Profile on STATS Indiana to view more state-level comparisons and rankings and the Bureau of Labor Statistics for union member demographics at the national level.

Rachel Justis
Geodemographic Analyst, Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University Kelley School of Business