BLS Reports Slight Uptick in Construction Industry Union Representation in 2021

January 27, 2022

Union representation rates in the construction industry inched up slightly in 2021, increasing to 13.6%, with 1,112, 000 of the 8,157,000 workers “represented” by unions, up from 13.4% in 2020 (993,000 of 1,050,000 employed).  Among those 1,112,000 represented  by unions, 1,024,000 were classified as union members, leaving some 88,000 (roughly 8%) of the remainder classified as represented by unions (covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA)) but not reported as union members. 

In 2020, 993,000 of the 1,050,000 represented by unions were classified as members, leaving some 57,000 (some 5%) classified as represented or covered by a CBA, but not counted as union members – as judged by responses to the BLS Current Population Survey questions that are the basis of the annual report. (Union Members – 2021, USDL-22-0079, January 20, 2022).

According to the BLS report, median  weekly earnings among all full-time wage and salary workers in the construction industry came to $966 in 2021, up  marginally from $961 the year before. In 2021, union members were credited with $1,344 per week, as compared with $1,322 for those non-members covered by a labor contract, and $922 per week for non-union workers.  In  2020, the amounts were: $961 for all workers; $1,254 for union members; $1,234 for non-members covered by a CBA; and $920 for non-union workers.

MCAA Note – The differential between union membership and union representation rates may reflect the impact and change in right-to-work laws in any state.  BLS data on union membership rates over the years is available on a state-by-state basis on the BLS website. The state data reflects total union membership rates and is not broken down by public or private sectors or by industry.

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