Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Union membership and duration of unemployment

Our staff has been involved in several projects recently, and we've found some interesting items worth sharing.

Union Membership

Each year, we update information about Oregon's union membership and coverage rates. Last month we wrote a summary with the latest numbers. In 2010, about 16 percent of employed workers were union members. The state ranked 10th highest among the states and District of Columbia. Private-sector union membership (9.1%) ranked 12th highest nationwide, and Oregon's public-sector membership (51.7%) ranked 10th highest.

Oregon has relatively less union membership concentration in private manufacturing and construction than in the overall private and public sectors. In 2010, the union membership rate in manufacturing was 11.8 percent. In construction, the rate was 13.4 percent.

Duration of Unemployment

Each month our agency tracks the number of unemployed persons in Oregon by the number of weeks they've been out of work. While the number of unemployed Oregonians started declining in 2010, the increases in duration -- especially in long-term unemployment (52+ weeks) -- are staggering.

For more information on either of these topics, you can check the Current Population Survey data, or contact me (503-947-1274 or

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