Skip to content

U.S. Union Membership Falls Despite High-Profile Labor Actions

Cuilnary Union members and supporters rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 24, 2021.

Cuilnary Union members and supporters rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 24, 2021.

Photographer: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg

U.S. union membership fell in 2021, returning to its historic low, even as workers became emboldened with strikes and organized campaigns across the country at a rate rarely seen in recent years. 

The rate of union membership, or the percentage of wage and salary workers were part of a union, was 10.3% in 2021, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Thursday. That’s down 0.5 percentage points from 2020 and matches the prepandemic level of 2019.