Unions in New York State gained 58,000 members last year, a reversal of the decline recorded between 2013 and 2014, according to new federal data. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week the ranks of private-sector and government unions in the state totaled 2 million, up 3 percent from a year earlier. Union membership has fluctuated in recent years.
There was a decline of 6,000 members between 2013 and 2014, and an increase of 145,000 between 2012 and 2013. The latter was the first increase since 2007. However, union membership remains below its recent high of 2.1 million in 2005. The expansion of union rolls coincided with an increase in the number of people employed in New York State. The total workforce statewide grew by 189,000 people last year, or 2.3 percent over 2014.