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Union membership down in SD, up in ND

By Northern Plains News

While national union membership remained steady between 2012 and 2013, union membership was up in North Dakota and down in South Dakota.

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The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its annual survey on union membership.

In 2012, South Dakota had 20,000 workers who were union members out of a total employed worker pool of 351,000, for a union membership rate of 5.6 percent. Unions represented 24,000 workers in 2012 for 6.7 percent all workers.

Those rates declined in 2013, with 17,000 workers claiming union membership or 4.8 percent of all workers and 21,000 workers being represented by a union or 5.8 percent.

Meanwhile, in North Dakota, union membership and representation rates went up. In 2012, North Dakota had 20,000 workers belonging to unions or 6.1 percent and 27,000 or 8.2 percent represented by unions. In 2013, those numbers increased to 22,000 workers or 6.4 claiming union membership and 29,000 or 8.5 percent of all North Dakota workers represented by a union.