A year of unprecedented challenges and tragedies has underscored the importance of having a voice on the job. For decades before the pandemic, Unions have advocated strongly for safety and health protections on behalf of their members and all working people at risk.
Between 2019 and 2020, union membership in Pennsylvania rose by 41,000 members, now 717,000 Pennsylvanians stand in solidarity with our Union movement. Union density in our Commonwealth went from 12% to 13.5%.
Nationally, however the number of workers represented by a union declined by 444,000 since 2019, now standing at 15.9 million workers represented by a union. Conversely, the unionization rate rose to 12.1% in 2020 from 11.6% in 2019.
A simple decomposition of the increase in the overall unionization rate in 2020 shows that roughly half (46.5%) of the increase was the result of a pandemic composition effect, while roughly half (53.5%) was due to union workers seeing less job loss than nonunion workers in the same industry.