Historically, Black workers have had much higher rates of union coverage than white workers—but the gap has narrowed as union coverage rates have declined: Union coverage by race, 1973–2021

Date White Black All
2021 12.0% 12.8% 11.6%
2020 12.3% 13.6% 12.1%
2019 11.9% 12.3% 11.6%
2018 12.0% 13.4% 11.7%
2017 12.2% 13.6% 11.9%
2016 12.2% 14.3% 11.9%
2015 12.5% 14.2% 12.3%
2014 12.5% 14.3% 12.3%
2013 12.6% 14.9% 12.4%
2012 12.7% 14.5% 12.5%
2011 13.3% 14.9% 13.0%
2010 13.4% 15.0% 13.1%
2009 13.8% 15.3% 13.6%
2008 14.0% 15.5% 13.7%
2007 13.5% 15.7% 13.3%
2006 13.3% 16.0% 13.1%
2005 13.7% 16.5% 13.7%
2004 13.9% 16.6% 13.8%
2003 14.2% 18.1% 14.3%
2002 14.5% 18.8% 14.6%
2001 14.7% 18.7% 14.8%
2000 14.7% 18.9% 14.8%
1999 15.1% 19.2% 15.3%
1998 15.1% 19.7% 15.4%
1997 15.4% 20.1% 15.6%
1996 15.8% 21.2% 16.2%
1995 16.1% 22.2% 16.7%
1994 16.8% 22.9% 17.4%
1993 17.0% 23.5% 17.6%
1992 17.0% 23.9% 17.8%
1991 17.4% 24.1% 18.1%
1990 17.6% 24.1% 18.2%
1989 17.8% 25.3% 18.6%
1988 18.1% 25.9% 19.0%
1987 18.4% 25.4% 19.2%
1986 19.0% 26.6% 19.9%
1985 19.5% 27.4% 20.5%
1984 20.5% 29.3% 21.6%
1983 22.2% 31.7% 23.3%
1982 22.8% 30.7% 23.6%
1981 23.4% 29.7% 24.0%
1980 24.6% 33.5% 25.7%
1979 25.8% 36.3% 27.0%
1978 24.8% 32.9% 25.8%
1977 25.5% 34.0% 26.5%
1976 23.8% 32.5% 24.7%
1975 24.0% 31.6% 24.8%
1974 25.5% 31.1% 26.3%
1973 25.6% 32.2% 26.6%

Notes: The union coverage rate shows the percentage of the workforce that are members of unions and/or covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Race and ethnicity categories are mutually exclusive (i.e., white non-Hispanic, Black non-Hispanic, and all others).

Source: Economic Policy Institute, “Union Coverage” (data set), State of Working America Data Library, last updated March 2023.

View the underlying data on epi.org.