According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois gained 12,000 union jobs last year, and the rate of union membership jumped almost a full percentage point, from 16.6% in 2008 to 17.5% in 2009.
The number of union jobs climbed from 939,000 in 2008 to 951,000 in 2009.
Illinois is bucking the nation’s broader union job loss trend. Nationwide, union jobs took a proportionately bigger hit during the economic downturn than nonunion jobs did.
Across the United States, 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.