Last year, the number of union members in the U.S. fell by more than 400,000, or 2.7%. This decline was just a drop in the bucket compared to the long-term collapse of organized labor over the past several decades. In the past few years, states like Wisconsin and Michigan have passed legislation like “right-to-work” laws and even banned collective bargaining, further undermining public and private unions.
Unionization in this country varies widely from state to state. In places like New York and Alaska, more than 20% of workers were union members in 2012. In states like Arkansas and North Carolina, the number was closer to 3%. The concentration of unions in states has a lot to do with their employment base and political atmosphere. But one thing is clear, only seven states have seen the percentage of workers in unions increase in the past 10 years, and things are not looking up for organized labor. Based on data collected by the Bureau of Labor statistics and calculations by Unionstats.com, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the strongest and weakest unions.