State of the Unions 2020

The 2020 “State of the Unions” report Ruth Milkman and I write each Labor Day is out.

This year, we took a look at the impact of Covid-19 on some of the largest unions. Between furloughs and layoffs, Covid infections, and deaths, the numbers are devastating.

Union density continues to decline overall and in New York City. But despite the attacks on public-sector unions, public sector density went up in New York City. This may be evidence that the unions’ efforts to do serious internal organizing paid off.

Over 60% of all union members in the city, and over 70% of all members in the state, work in just three sectors: education, health care, and public administration.

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