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Union membership up on Long Island, bucking national trend, report finds

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Union membership on Long Island surpassed pre-pandemic levels last year, bucking a long-term national trend of continued decline and outpacing New York City, a new report shows. The data comes amid a surge of union organizing efforts locally and nationally, particularly by workers in retail, traditionally a nonunion industry.  

Last year, an estimated 26.5% of employed Long Islanders, or 336,246 workers, were in a union, according to a Hofstra University report released this week. Membership on the Island was 24.5%, or 328,916 workers, in 2019, according to the report, which calculated membership estimates using data from the Current Population Survey, a report produced by the Census Bureau and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The fact that Long Island has managed to hold fairly steady with its unionization and actually increase union membership is a really interesting sign of resilience,” said report author Gregory DeFreitas, Hofstra economics professor and director of the university’s Center for the Study of Labor and Democracy. Continue reading...