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Private Sector Unionization Rates in Selected States

Private Sector Unionization Rates in Selected States

By Brandon Wilkerson, Labor Market Analytics Director

Unionization

Private sector union membership in the U.S. varies widely by region, but South Carolina is consistently ranked as having one of the lowest private sector unionization rates (i.e., the percent of private sector employees with membership in a union).

Comparison of Rates

According to data gathered from the Current Population Survey and published on unionstats.com,[1] South Carolina’s 2023 private sector unionization rate was 1.6%, the lowest of all states for that year. South Carolina’s 2023 rate was approximately half of Georgia’s rate for the same year (2.9%) and a tenth of Hawaii’s rate (15.2%). See the table below for a breakdown of unionization rates in those and other selected states.

 

2023

State

Union Members as a Percent of All Private Employees

South Carolina

1.6%

Alabama

4.6%

California

8.8%

Georgia

2.9%

Hawaii

15.2%

Michigan

9.7%

New York

12.2%

North Carolina

1.9%

Ohio

7.0%

Pennsylvania

7.8%

Conclusion

In the private sector, union membership in South Carolina is rare at 1.6%, so the vast majority (estimated 98.4%) of South Carolinians are not unionized in that sector.  And, compared to other states in the southeast and nationwide, South Carolina’s unionization rate is the lowest.


[1] https://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.t05.htm