Although Oregon's union membership exceeded the nation's each year from 2000 to 2013, both saw nearly equivalent membership declines over the period. Nationwide, unions shed 10.7 percent of their membership, generally through incremental losses from year to year. Oregon's membership bounced up and down more than the nation's over the years, but from 2000 to 2013 membership declined by a similar total of 11.0 percent.
Comparable union membership data are available back to 1983, when union membership totaled 17.7 million nationwide and 222,900 in Oregon. The U.S. has not since matched the 1983 membership level; the U.S. coverage level also peaked in 1983 at 20.5 million. Oregon reached its highest union membership (275,300) and coverage (295,000) totals in 1994.
Oregon has relatively smaller union membership concentration in private manufacturing and construction compared with other states. In 2013, the union membership rate in manufacturing (7.5%) fell in the middle of the pack, ranking 26th. In construction, Oregon ranked 30th highest among the states with 9.5 percent membership.
Year to year, the union membership trend fluctuates, and has shown gains as recently as 2011, when total membership rose by 24,100 (9.8%) on a combination of private-sector (1,800 or 1.6%) and public-sector (22,300 or 17.1%) increases. Still, the longer-term tendency has been lower union membership as a share of employment. This has been the case in both the private and public sectors: peak membership rates occurred in 1984 for private employment (18.7%), and 1995 for public employment (60.7%).
More information on union membership and coverage in Oregon, the U.S., and all other states can be found at unionstats.com