Friday, September 04, 2009
I'd like to do something more with this, but no time. But for Labor Day I looked in on what thedata shows for unionizaton levels here in Pittsburgh. I run these numbers myself sometimes,but for a general reference I pulled this quickly from unionstats.com.
This data is for employed private sector workers only (I forgot the 'private sector' in the title, I'll add later). Unionization among public sector workers is different and a higher number most everywhere. Since it covers employed workers it does not capture what may be a metric of union households with retired, laid off or former union members. I have also plotted the percentage of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements which is a slightly different number than actual union members by a tenth of a percentage point or two.
A couple suprising things. One thing that always amazes people is just how low unionization level is in Pittsburgh, widely thought to be a big labor town. The current levels are right in the middle of what you would expect for large metro areas. Nothing out of the ordinary at all in it. (again for private sector workers).
But something I just noticed with the most recent data (2008)... a couple years ago it seemed certain that the private sector unionization rate was doing to dip into single digits, but it looks to have not only arrested the long term decline, but edged up a bit. We will see if the uptick continues, but it has certainly leveled off.