The 10 States With The Most Powerful Unions

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Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on SmartAsset.com

The United StatesSAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly one out of every ten workers in 2021 will be a union member (10).8%)The number of members has increased by 0Since 1983, when about one out of every five workers was a union member (20), it has decreased by more than half.1%)Historically, organized labor has had a significant influence in the United States.SSince the first union was founded by Philadelphia shoemakers in 1794, the workforce has been establishing and defending employee rights.With this in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to see where unions are most powerful across the country.

We used seven metrics to do so: the percentage of workers who are union members, the four-year change in union membership, the average annual wage for all workers, the average annual wage for middle school teachers, the salary ratio of teachers to all occupations, and the average annual wage for firefighters, as well as the salary ratio for firefighters to all occupations.We focused on teachers and firefighters because, according to the BLS, these two professions have the highest unionization rates.Read the Data and Methodology section at the end for more information on our data sources and how we put everything together to create our final rankings.

The SmartAssets study on the states with the strongest unions in 2021 can be found here.

Oregon is a state in the United States

Bridge over Willamette River, Oregon

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Every one of the metrics we looked at put Oregon in the top 20.The state has the seventh-highest proportion of both unionized and non-unionized workers (16).20%), as well as a 20 percent increase in union membership over the last four years.34%)Oregon is also ranked ninth in the country for the salary ratio of firefighters to all occupations, with firefighters earning 111 times the national average.95% of the average wage for all employees

Rhode Island is a state in the United States.

Shutterstock/James Kirkikis

Three different metrics place Rhode Island in the top ten.It has the third-highest percentage of unionized workers (17).Teachers have the fifth-highest salary ratio of all occupations (126%) (79%)25%) and the eighth-highest average annual wage (76050) for middle school teachers.

Washington, D.C.

Seattle, Washington

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Washington state’s average annual wage for all workers is $66870, making it the third highest average salary among the states studied.Washington is also third in terms of firefighters’ pay (77700).There are approximately 1738% of all workers in the states belong to a union, the fifth highest rate in the study.

Maryland is a state in the United States

Maryland

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Maryland’s average annual salary for middle school teachers is 77770, which is the sixth highest on the list.Out of all the states studied, the average annual wage for all workers is 63610, which is the seventh highest.Firefighters, on the other hand, earn an average of $64490 per year, the eighth highest salary in the study.

California is a state in the United States

San Mateo California

Shutterstock/James L Simmons

California firefighters earn the second-highest average annual salary (86860), which is 132 percent higher than the national average.13% of all workers’ average annual salary (the second-highest rate for this metric)The Golden State’s average annual wage for all workers is also on the higher end, ranking fourth at $65740.

New York is a city in the United States.

Syracuse New York

Shutterstock / Paul Brady Photography

The Empire State has a population of 22 million people.The second-highest rate of union membership in the country is 1%.New York comes out on top in both of the teacher-related metrics we looked at: middle school teachers earn an average of 89150 dollars per year, which is up 131 percent from the previous year.39% of all workers’ average annual salary

Hawaii is a state in the United States

Honolulu, Hawaii

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With 23 percent of its population belonging to a union, Hawaii has the highest rate of union membership in the country.63%Firefighters in the state earn an average of $68590 per year, which is 117 percent higher than the national average.87% of the average annual wage for all employeesIn this study, those figures are ranked fifth and fourth, respectively.

Pennsylvania is a state in the United States

Pennsylvania Capitol

Shutterstock Cascade Creatives

When compared to the average salaries across industries in Pennsylvania, the salaries of commonly unionized professions are high.Teachers are paid $129 per hour.Firefighters earn 113 percent of the median average salary for all workers, compared to 14% for all workers.07% of the average median salaryThese figures are the fourth and eighth highest in the study.The average annual wage for all workers is 53950, which is the 18th highest in the country.

Connecticut is a state in the United States

Connecticut Capitol

Shutterstock/James Kirkikis

Connecticut’s average annual wage for all workers is 65450, which is the fifth highest in the study.Teachers in middle schools earn 81140 dollars per year, while firefighters earn 67630 dollars per year, putting them in fourth and sixth place, respectively.Union membership is currently at 17 percent.Out of all the states we looked at, 10% was the sixth highest.

Nebraska is a state in the United States

Nebraska city scene

Shutterstock/Katherine Welles

Nebraska rounds out the top ten with a 32 percent increase in union membership.The second-highest increase for this metric in the study was 31% over the four-year period from 2016 to 2021.A total of 9 percent of the population belongs to a labor union.58% of the state workforce, ranked 23rd in the study, is near the middle of the pack.Furthermore, with a median salary of 50260, it is the 31st highest in the country.

Methodology and Data

Firefighters

Shutterstock/Tyler Olson

SmartAsset looked at data from 49 states (Vermont had insufficient data) across seven metrics to find the states with the strongest unions.

  • The data was provided by UnionStats and represents the percentage of workers who belong to a union.It’s for the year 2021, and it’s on com.
  • Change in union membership over a four-year periodUnionStats provided the data.com, and it is for the years 2016 and 2021.
  • All occupations’ average annual wageThe data is for 2021 and comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Middle school teachers’ average annual salaryThe data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is for the year 2021.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education training and library occupations had one of the highest unionization rates in 2021.Within that industry, a prominent occupation is that of a middle school teacher.Workers in this field earn in the middle of the pay scale for all occupations in the industry.
  • Teachers’ pay compared to all other occupationsThe data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is for the year 2021.
  • Firefighters’ average annual salaryThe data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is for the year 2021.Protective service occupations had one of the highest unionization rates in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Within that industry, a firefighter is a popular job.Workers in this field earn in the middle of the pay scale for all occupations in the industry.
  • Firefighters’ pay compared to all other occupationsThe data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is for the year 2021.

To begin, we ranked each state according to each metric.The average ranking for each state was calculated by giving a half weight to the four metrics related to average annual wages and salary ratios for teachers and firefighters, and a double weight to the two metrics related to union membership – the percentage of workers in unions and four-year change in union membership – and a half weight to the two metrics related to union membership – the percentage of workers in unions and four-year change in union membership.The average rankings were then used to create our final rankings.A score of 100 was awarded to the state with the highest average ranking, while a score of 0 was awarded to the state with the lowest average ranking.

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