Friday, August 29, 2008

for labor day

Lot's of misconceptions about the scale of unionization in the Pittsburgh labor force. With the decline of steel and heavy industry, the rate of unionization in the labor force has dropped as well. Most still don't believe this when I point it out, but unionization among local workers is under 14% which places it about average among large metro areas.

Union membership as a percentage of total employment for the top 25 metropolitan statistical areas in 2007

Compiled from latest data in the

And that is unionization among all workers. Private sector unionization is even lower for the region, around 10%.


Blogger Felix Dzerzhinsky said...

This is definitely correct for the workforce, though most unions count their retirees as members, so the number of people who are in unions' orbit socially and politically is higher than the national average here. Many retirees (and widows of retirees) are on the rolls for receiving retiree health care, pensions, or other benefits that the union sometimes administers. A number of unions also make an effort to keep retirees involved -- witness SOAR.

Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:48:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

quite true. I can point out heavily unionized industries and sectors where the number of retirees is more than the number of active employees. The percentage of 'households' with some union connection is a higher percentage than that for active workers, though it is higher elsewhere as well. But all that does is to highlight the odd thing that that unions are not that powerful in town which I attribute mostly to the fighting local unions do among themselves (aka Bakery Square for a recent example).

Monday, September 01, 2008 9:40:00 PM  

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