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MO union membership rises in 2010

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Missouri was among 17 states where union membership grew even as union numbers shrunk across the country in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said last week.

The bureau reported 9.9 percent of Missouri’s wage and salary workers belonged to unions in 2010, half a percentage point above the 9.4 percent union representation in 2009. In 2010, union members accounted for 244,000 Missouri workers, according to BLS data released Feb. 4.

Still, Missouri’s union membership rate remains below the U.S. average, where it has hovered since 2004, and well under the state’s unionization peak of 15.5 percent in 1989, when state data were first available for comparison.

Nationally, the number of workers belonging to unions declined by 612,000 to 14.7 million in 2010. Union members accounted for 11.9 percent of employed wage and salary workers, down from 12.3 percent a year earlier. In 1983, the first year for which comparable national union data were available, the U.S. union membership rate was 20.1 percent.

In the last decade, Missouri’s union membership rate exceeded the national average only twice: at 13.2 percent in 2003 and 13.4 percent in 2001.

At 24.2 percent, New York registered the highest union membership rate in 2010, and North Carolina posted the lowest rate at 3.2 percent.[[In-content Ad]]

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