By Murtaza Baxamusa
There were about 185 thousand union members in San Diego, based on surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016. About 110 thousand of these workers are in the private sector. There are additionally 20 thousand workers covered by union contracts in the region. The continuing employment recovery in the last two years contributed to an increase in union membership.
Union density is the share of workers that are union members. It is an important measure of union prevalence that determines the impact of collective bargaining agreements on area-wide labor wages and benefits. In 2016, union density was 12.9 percent for all workers in San Diego. It was about 6.2 percent in the private sector and 45.5 in the public sector in San Diego. Union membership rate in California stayed almost constant at 15.9 percent since membership grew by 65,000 members at the same pace as the overall employment.