Union membership in health care setting drops

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 6, 2012

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The proportion of U.S. health care workers who were union members declined in 2011.

About 14.7 million workers in the U.S were union members in 2010. The number inched up to 14.8 million in 2011 but did not represent a statistically significant increase, according to an annual report published Jan. 27 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

About 957,000 health care practitioners and technicians, a category that includes physicians, nurses and dentists, were union members in 2010. The number declined to 938,000 in 2011. A total of 268,000 health care support workers were union members in 2010, and this number was unchanged for 2011.

The earnings of union members continued to be higher than nonmembers'. In 2010, the median weekly earnings of nonunion health care practitioners and technicians was $967. This went up to $975 in 2011. Union members in this occupational category took home an average of $1,095 a week in 2010 and $1,132 in 2011. Health care support personnel earned an average of $467 if they were not union members in 2010 and $484 in 2011. Union members earned an average of $514 in 2010 and $519 in 2011.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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