Datasets of labor union metadata and membership in the United States

Open Data Asked by UpQuark on September 29, 2021

I’m looking broadly for datasets that offer insight into labor union membership, participation and behavior in the U.S.

So far there’s some good stuff in the Office of Labor Management and Standards financial reports data, but I can’t find much else in the way of robust datasets about unions. There’s also some interesting stuff on the Department of Labor developer site here, but it doesn’t seem to touch on unions at all (other than one column in an OSHA dataset).

Are there any other datasets or bodies that accumulate public data on unions / labor participation in the U.S.? I’d specifically love any datasets that associate unions with specific industries or employee titles, but would welcome basically anything.

2 Answers

Data and Statistical Sources: Labor and Employment: Labor Union Statistics

Find summary statistics on NLRB activity, including decisions, court reviews, elections, unfair labor practices, etc.. (from 1936-2009)

(Information about the database. The database must be requested.) The ILO has created a database on trade union membership. It contains data for 45 countries from 1990-Available in Excel files on request from the ILO Bureau of Statistics.

Contains publicly available US data about labor and unions dating from 1983-2014 in an MSAccess database for easy manipulation. Available at Catherwood Library only. Ask for assistance at the ILR Reference Desk.

Provides statistical data from U.S. government publications from 1973, state and private sources from 1980, and international organizations from 1983.

This January release is the main government source for statistics on U. S. labor union membership and density.

Source for information on membership and finances of individual unions. From the U. S. Department of Labor.

The Union Membership and Coverage Database is an Internet data resource providing private and public sector labor union membership, coverage, and density estimates compiled from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly household survey, using BLS methods. These statistics are provided by the BLS in its annual Union Membership survey, but due with less detail. Be sure to read the background information on with its commentary on the accuracy of the sample.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision–making.

and more....

Data and Statistical Sources: Labor and Employment: Data Sets

Databases, Tables & Calculators by Subject (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


The ILO Department of Statistics is the focal point to the United Nations for labor statistics.

Correct answer by Pluviophile on September 29, 2021

The BLS has a recurring survey which includes a union membership question. See:

Answered by C8H10N4O2 on September 29, 2021

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