240px-afl-label-5817120New York State had the nation’s most unionized workforce in 2014, thanks largely to its very heavily unionized public sector.

The level of union membership among New York public and private employees came to 24.6 percent, compared to the national rate of 11.2 percent, according to the latest data at unionstats.com, a project of researchers at Georgia State University and Trinity University.

Unionization in the state’s public sector has remained far higher than the private sector. In 2014, 72.3 percent of New York’s public-sector employees were union members, a level that’s remained largely flat since the 1990s. By comparison, the 2014 level was 14.9 percent for private-sector employees, down from 17.9 percent in 1994 and 23.6 percent in 1984.

As seen in the graph below, the state’s level has ticked up since 2012 but has not reversed an overall slide that began in the 1980s.


The next highest levels in the continental U.S. were found in Washington (16.8 percent; 10.9 percent in private sector), New Jersey (16.5 percent; 8.9 percent in private sector), California (16.3 percent; 9.2 percent in private sector), Oregon (15.6 percent; 8.2 percent in private sector) and Illinois (15.1 percent; 9.1 percent in private sector).


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