From the Department of Professional Employees, to which the SIU is affiliated:
Professional Union Membership Made Gains in 2023
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2024 – Professional union membership grew by over 185,000 in 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual union membership report released today. This increase in membership brings the total of professionals in unions up from 6.26 million in 2022 to 6.45 million in 2023, which is a new high for professional union membership. Union density among professionals saw little change in 2023 partially due to the growth in total employment of professionals. Density was 10.32 percent in 2023 compared to 10.45 percent in 2022. Additionally, overall union membership ticked up in 2023 to 14.4 million.
“Professionals in unions are exercising their workplace rights and winning improved working conditions,” said DPE President Jennifer Dorning. “The frequency and visibility of these victories combined with changes in the economy, such as high inflation, short staffing, and increasing use of AI in the workplace, have shown professionals that they need a real say in their workplaces, which can be achieved by joining together in union.”
The nonprofit and federal sectors saw large increases in union membership among professionals in 2023, with membership growing by 13 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Additionally, school administration was an occupation category that saw a large bump in union membership in 2023, growing by 14 percent. DPE affiliates representing professional employees across the country contributed to these organizing gains by fostering solidarity and effectively demonstrating the value of union membership.
Professionals have become an increasingly larger share of the labor movement. In 2023, professionals made up 45 percent of all union members, up one percentage point from 44 percent in 2022. A decade prior, in 2013, professionals made up 40 percent of all union members.
“DPE is proud to support our affiliated unions as they bring a growing number of professionals together in union to raise standards in their workplaces and in workplaces across the U.S.,” said Dorning. “Professionals are continuing to prove that they are an important part of the current and future labor movement.”
The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) is a coalition of 24 unions representing over four million professional and technical union members. DPE affiliate unions represent professionals in over 300 occupations in education and healthcare; science, engineering, and technology; legal, business, and management; media, entertainment, and the arts; and public administration.