Percent of CT workers represented by a union in 2022 CT Mirror

Charting Connecticut is a regular feature produced by the CT Mirror's data team that looks at Connecticut through a quantitative lens.

About 256,000 public and private workers in Connecticut were represented by a labor union last year, according to survey estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At 15.4%, the state ranks 9th in the country in its share of workers represented by a labor union, with Hawaii ranking first at 23.4% and South Carolina ranking last at 2%. The U.S. rate is 11.3%.

Connecticut’s high share is mainly due to the public sector’s right to collective bargaining. The share of public employees in Connecticut covered by a union is 61.1%, ranking 4th nationally. But the share of private sector employees covered by a union is 7.7%, ranking 18th nationally.

Connecticut’s relatively high ranking for public sector employees is partly explained by its early adoption of legislation allowing collective bargaining of government employees in the 20th century, such as the Municipal Employee Relations Act, the Teacher Negotiations Act and the State Employee Collective Bargaining Act.

These employees have collective bargaining power through their union and can negotiate wages, salaries, hours and working conditions, among other things. However, not all public-sector unions in every state have collective bargaining rights, as it depends on differing state laws and the exceptions they provide.

José is CT Mirror's data reporter, reporting data-driven stories and integrating data visualizations into his colleagues' stories. Prior to joining CT Mirror he spent the summer of 2022 at the Wall Street Journal as an investigative data intern. Prior to that, José held internships or fellowships with Texas Tribune, American Public Media Group, ProPublica, Bloomberg and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. A native of Houston, he graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism.