Union Membership Slips Nationally, Grows in Isles
Union membership in Hawaii rose in 2012 even as the unionization rate declined nationally.
Union members accounted for 21.6 percent of Hawaii's workforce last year, up from 21.5 percent in 2001, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. Total union membership in Hawaii rose by 3,000 workers to 116,000.
Hawaii's 2012 unionization rate was the third highest in the country. New York topped the list at 23.2 percent, followed by Alaska at 22.4 percent. North Carolina had the lowest rate at 2.9 percent.
Hawaii was one of 16 states and the District of Columbia where the rate of union membership rose in 2012.
The rate fell in 33 states and was unchanged in two others.
The average unionization rate nationally fell to 11.3 percent, the lowest level since the 1930s, from 11.8 percent. The national decline in membership was led by losses among public sector workers in cash-strapped states, cities, counties and towns.
Union membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14. …