According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York lost 10,000 union jobs in 2009, but greater contraction in the rest of the state’s economy actually raised the percentage of New Yorkers who belong to a union.
Private- and public-sector union jobs in New York fell from 2,029,000 in 2008 to 2,019,000 in 2009.
However, the rate of unionization increased to 25.2% last year, up from 24.9% in 2008. That bucks a national trend in which the down economy has delivered a bigger hit to union jobs than nonunion jobs.
Nationwide, union membership had fallen steadily since World War II, but seemed to bottom out in 2006, when 12% of workers belonged to unions. The unionization rate ticked up to 12.1% in 2007, 12.4% in 2008 and then dipped slightly to 12.3% in 2009.