Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Private Sector Unionization in Pittsburgh

I find it a little curious that given all the coverage of Labor Day in Pittsburgh, nobody has even taken a peek at what the data says specifically about the state of unions locally (I do see J.O. touches upon some state data, but that can be pretty diluted from what is happening here in Pittsburgh.)  The latest data for 2013 shows a pretty remarkable drop in private sector unionization here. See below.

While the data used to calculate that has a fair bit of volatility and sample error, note it is the same data used to calculate the unemployment rate we all over-parse each month. Probably comparable error in the two metrics, so either use them both or discount them both equally. With that caveat, the latest data is showing what has to be a new all-time low in the rate of unionization here, or at least the lowest since the Sons of Vulcan stood up shop here.  Again, given some measurement caveats, it looks like the biggest annual drop in data back to 1986 at least.

I will not be surprised if there is not some reversion in that dip when data for 2014 is calculated. Still, a decade ago I thought stabilization in this time series might lead to an uptick going forward. That looks not to have happened.


Anonymous Jordan said...

Anyone know what caused the uptick in 2007-2008? I can't think of any particular unionizing campaign(s) that would drive it up like that.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 9:24:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

My guess would be the huge jump in major construction around that time period. Ice hockey rink, subway tunnel, two office towers, lots more. Labor and construction unions were advertising for workers.

Friday, September 05, 2014 9:21:00 AM  

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