African Americans Make Up Largest Percentage of Union Membership

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More African Americans wear the union label than non-blacks, but the number of union members declined in 2012 compared with the year before.

The University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education reported in 2012 that 13.1 percent of black workers in the United States were union members compared with 11.0 percent of non-black workers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report in January, which said that black workers were more likely to be union members than white, Asian or Hispanic workers. The report noted that the percent of wage and salary workers who were union members in 2012 was 11.3 percent compared with 11.8 percent in 2011.

Last year, 14.4 million wage and salary workers were union members, compared to 17.7 million or 20.1 percent in 1983, the first year comparable data was available.

Last year, 2.0 million African Americans were union members, compared to 1.9 million in 2011, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.