Hawaii leads country in labor union representation
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019
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Hawaii leads country in labor union representation

  • COURTESY U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

Hawaii’s 139,000 unionized members once again led the country in union membership in 2018, with 23.1 percent of wage and salary workers across the islands belonging to unions, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The country, overall, saw 10.5 percent of wage and salary workers represented by unions in 2018, down 0.2 percent from 2017.

Hawaii’s union representation increased from 21.3 percent in 2017. By comparison, Hawaii saw its union membership peak in 1989 at 29.9 percent, according to Richard Holden, the BLS’ assistant commissioner for regional operations.

The lowest point came in 2016 when 19.9 percent of Hawaii workers belonged to unions.

Overall, since comparable state data became available in 1989, union membership in Hawaii has ranked above the overall U.S. average, according to the BLS.

After Hawaii, New York had the next highest union membership rate in 2018 — 24.1 percent; followed by Washington (20.5 percent); Rhode Island (18.5 percent); and Connecticut (16.7 percent), according to the BLS.

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