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States with the largest unionized workforces

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Stacker analyzed BLS data for 2021 (released in January 2022) and ranked each state according to its percentage of wage and salary workers who were members of labor unions.
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States with the largest unionized workforces

Unions spent the first half of the 20th century transforming a massive industrial peasantry into the American middle class. In the second half of the 20th century, big business fought back by pressing for so-called “right-to-work” laws, which dilute the influence of labor unions and their power of collective bargaining.

The right-to-work campaign has been an unmitigated success for big business. Union memberships plummet wherever these laws exist, weakening the primary check on corporate excess. The results are clear: The dramatic decline in union membership that began in the early 1960s directly coincided with a meteoric rise in the share of income going to the top 10%.

To determine which states are the most unionized, Stacker looked at BLS data for 2021 (released in January 2022) and ranked each state according to its percentage of wage and salary workers who were members of labor unions.

Not surprisingly, the issue is politically polarized. Republicans overwhelmingly back right-to-work laws, and Democrats overwhelmingly side with their historic allies in labor. In fact, a red/blue map of the right-to-work states versus pro-union states looks nearly identical to that of the Electoral College.

Today, 27 states enforce right-to-work laws. These free-rider statutes extend the gains of union-won collective bargaining agreements to non-union workers who didn’t join or pay dues themselves. Predictably and as intended, many workers simply opt to piggyback instead of pitching in, which causes union membership and the influence of organized labor to dwindle. Big business prefers divided labor over organized labor for a reason. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median weekly wage for union members in the United States is $1,169 vs. $975 for nonunion workers.

In 2021, union membership stood at about 10.3% of the U.S. workforce. That’s a little more than half of the 20.1% that existed when BLS began tracking it in 1983. Three decades before that, in 1953, more than one in three private-sector workers were union members. Today, that number has dwindled to just 6.1%. Right-to-work legislation is decided at the state level, so the country’s remaining union members are not spread out evenly.

Keep reading to see which states are the most unionized.

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Khanrak // Wikimedia Commons

#51. South Carolina

– Members of unions: 34,000 (1.7% of employed population)
— Down 25,000 from 2020 (-1.2 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 42,000 (2% of employed population)
— Down 35,000 from 2020 (-1.8 percentage points)

No stranger to the bottom of the list, South Carolina once again takes the title of America’s least unionized state. The state’s workforce is growing quickly, while union membership has declined.

James Willamor // Flickr

#50. North Carolina

– Members of unions: 108,000 (2.6% of employed population)
— Down 21,000 from 2020 (-0.5 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 142,000 (3.4% of employed population)
— Down 19,000 from 2020 (-0.5 percentage points)

In the years when South Carolina isn’t the least-unionized state, its neighbor to the north often is. North Carolina became a right-to-work state in 1947, making it one of the early adopters of the movement. The right-to-work agenda emerged in the South after World War II, as integrated labor unions began threatening both the economic power structure and the racial power structure in the region.

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#49. Utah

– Members of unions: 51,000 (3.5% of employed population)
— No change from 2020 (-0.2 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 96,000 (6.5% of employed population)
— Up 21,000 from 2020 (+1.1 percentage points)

In 1955, Utah became the 18th state to join the right-to-work coalition—one of the first states to do so outside of the South. This dynamic, according to the Utah History Encyclopedia, is directly connected to organized labor’s long history of conflict with the Mormon church.

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#48. Texas

– Members of unions: 454,000 (3.8% of employed population)
— Down 109,000 from 2020 (-1.1 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 571,000 (4.7% of employed population)
— Down 122,000 from 2020 (-1.3 percentage points)

The term “right to work” was coined by anti-labor oil industry chiefs in Houston in 1936, and no state has been more central to the movement. After World War II, Houston businessman and vocal white supremacist Vance Muse founded the Christian American Association. Through the organization, he leveraged contemporary fears to successfully link unions with both integration and communism in the public imagination, while crafting the first right-to-work laws in Texas.

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#47. Arkansas

– Members of unions: 46,000 (3.9% of employed population)
— Down 9,000 from 2020 (-0.8 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 51,000 (4.4% of employed population)
— Down 18,000 from 2020 (-1.5 percentage points)

In 2018, a local CBS affiliate reported that union membership was on the rise in Arkansas, despite the state ranking above only 12 other states in terms of current unionization. Now, four years after the supposed boost, Arkansas has dropped even further—behind all but four other states.

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#46. South Dakota

– Members of unions: 16,000 (4% of employed population)
— Down 1,000 from 2020 (-0.3 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 20,000 (5% of employed population)
— Down 1,000 from 2020 (-0.5 percentage points)

Back in 2003, the Rapid City Journal ran an article under the headline “Unions Waning in South Dakota.” There were just 19,000 union members left in the state by 2002, down from 21,000 in 1997. Overall membership has continued to decline.

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#44. Idaho

– Members of unions: 36,000 (4.7% of employed population)
— Down 5,000 from 2020 (-0.9 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 42,000 (5.5% of employed population)
— Down 5,000 from 2020 (-0.9 percentage points)

Idaho’s union history can be traced back to the first half of the 20th century, to conflicts between laborers and corporate bosses in the booming timber industry. Today, Idaho is one of the 10 least unionized states in the country and part of a confederation of right-to-work states that spreads across the conservative Mountain West.

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#44. Louisiana

– Members of unions: 81,000 (4.7% of employed population)
— Down 18,000 from 2020 (-1.2 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 98,000 (5.7% of employed population)
— Down 15,000 from 2020 (-1.0 percentage point)

In 1954, a scathing report by a man named William J. Dodd called the adoption of right-to-work laws in Louisiana “without question the most controversial legislative problem considered during the 1954 legislative session.” Although the law’s authors insisted their motives were based in liberating Louisiana workers, Dodd pointed out that the proposed law restricted the use of some of organized labor’s most important tools, like picketing or recruitment. The law was eventually adopted in 1976.

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#42. Georgia

– Members of unions: 211,000 (4.8% of employed population)
— Up 17,000 from 2020 (+0.2 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 256,000 (5.8% of employed population)
— Down 15,000 from 2020 (-0.7 percentage points)

In 2016, labor leaders in Georgia cheered as a judge overruled a state law designed to dilute the influence of unions there even further. Despite that narrow victory, Georgia remains committed to protecting its well-earned image as a pro-business state, a status often won at the expense of its workers.

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#42. Virginia

– Members of unions: 176,000 (4.8% of employed population)
— Up 12,000 from 2020 (+0.4 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 240,000 (6.5% of employed population)
— Up 39,000 from 2020 (+1.1 percentage points)

Although the 2020 election saw Democrats flip Virginia, the state is still part of the South, where the modern anti-labor movement was born. Despite the change in leadership, Virginia’s right-to-work laws have thus far proven too deeply entrenched for progressives in the state to uproot.

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#40. Florida

– Members of unions: 448,000 (5.2% of employed population)
— Down 76,000 from 2020 (-1.2 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 529,000 (6.1% of employed population)
— Down 115,000 from 2020 (-1.8 percentage points)

When Florida was called for President Trump in the 2020 election, it became clear that Democrats would not get the election night knockout punch they had hoped for. Their allies in labor, however, won a major victory in the Sunshine State that day. More than 60% of voters passed a ballot measure that will raise the state minimum wage from $8.56 to $15 an hour by 2026, giving 2.5 million low-wage Florida workers a raise.

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#40. Tennessee

– Members of unions: 145,000 (5.2% of employed population)
— Up 28,000 from 2020 (+0.8 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 166,000 (5.9% of employed population)
— Up 29,000 from 2020 (+0.8 percentage points)

Tennessee is part of America’s right-to-work stronghold in the South, where union membership has dwindled to about 5% of the workforce. In 2020, state leadership proposed an amendment enshrining right-to-work language in the Tennessee constitution.

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#38. Arizona

– Members of unions: 167,000 (5.4% of employed population)
— Up 12,000 from 2020 (+0.1 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 208,000 (6.7% of employed population)
— Up 1,000 from 2020 (-0.4 percentage points)

Arizona’s union history revolves around the mining industry, in a relationship that was often volatile and frequently violent, with race, immigration, and the inherent unpredictability of the metals industry fanning the flames. Unions have faced an uphill battle in the state since the first right-to-work laws were enacted in 1947.

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#38. North Dakota

– Members of unions: 19,000 (5.4% of employed population)
— Down 2,000 from 2020 (-0.8 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 24,000 (6.9% of employed population)
— Down 1,000 from 2020 (-0.5 percentage points)

In 2020, The New Yorker investigated an interesting labor situation in North Dakota. Tensions were rising between Democratic Party opponents of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline and the labor unions that represented the workers. The infighting waned when the two groups seemed to find common ground, as large numbers of oil workers shifted to clean-energy jobs operating wind turbines—while oil industry employment stagnated.

Ken L. // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Mississippi

– Members of unions: 59,000 (5.5% of employed population)
— Down 15,000 from 2020 (-1.6 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 74,000 (6.9% of employed population)
— Down 12,000 from 2020 (-1.4 percentage points)

In the tumultuous 1950s and ’60s, union membership plummeted in Mississippi and much of the South as labor leaders allied with civil rights organizations. Union membership remains down in Mississippi as the state is still dominated by pro-business conservatives hostile toward the labor movement and suspicious of unions.

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Oklahoma CIty Convention and Visitor’s Bureau // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Oklahoma

– Members of unions: 87,000 (5.6% of employed population)
— Down 3,000 from 2020 (-0.4 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 105,000 (6.8% of employed population)
— Down 9,000 from 2020 (-0.8 percentage points)

Union culture in Oklahoma began when the state was still a territory, through labor uprisings in the mining industry. The arrival of the railroad brought a new breed of union to Oklahoma, followed by the rise of agricultural unions in the state, and finally the appearance of trade unions.

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#35. Wyoming

– Members of unions: 13,000 (5.7% of employed population)
— Down 5,000 from 2020 (-1.9 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 16,000 (6.9% of employed population)
— Down 6,000 from 2020 (-2.4 percentage points)

Wyoming serves as the bridge between two solid blocks of right-to-work states—one in the Midwest and the other in the Mountain West. To Wyoming’s east are solid-red North Dakota down through Texas and to the west are Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona.

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#34. Alabama

– Members of unions: 115,000 (5.9% of employed population)
— Down 36,000 from 2020 (-2.1 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 133,000 (6.9% of employed population)
— Down 31,000 from 2020 (-1.8 percentage points)

Although the number of union members found among Alabama’s employed population is still below the national average, it’s significantly higher than its neighbors in the Deep South, the heart of America’s right-to-work culture.

Schlendiran // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Colorado

– Members of unions: 165,000 (6.5% of employed population)
— Down 17,000 from 2020 (-0.9 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 192,000 (7.5% of employed population)
— Down 10,000 from 2020 (-0.7 percentage points)

In 2018, something happened in Colorado that’s a rarity in the modern era—union membership increased from 9.6% to 11%. The success was short-lived, however, and the state is now all the way down to 6.5%, its lowest union membership level since 2015.

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#32. Iowa

– Members of unions: 93,000 (6.5% of employed population)
— No change from 2020 (-0.1 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 118,000 (8.3% of employed population)
— Down 10,000 from 2020 (-0.8 percentage points)

As the 2020 presidential election grabbed all the headlines, thousands of public employees in Iowa turned out to vote in union recertification elections that determine whether or not they’ll retain their collective bargaining power. In 2017, Iowa’s conservative leaders succeeded in creating the recertification requirements to weaken unions further in the right-to-work state, but Democratic lawmakers have fought back.

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#31. Nebraska

– Members of unions: 61,000 (6.8% of employed population)
— Down 24,000 from 2020 (-2.8 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 72,000 (8% of employed population)
— Down 22,000 from 2020 (-2.5 percentage points)

At the turn of the 20th century, bakers in Omaha went on strike to protest $10 weekly wages for 10-17 hour workdays in sweltering hot, subterranean oven facilities that were commonly worked by children. However, anti-union legislation enacted in the 1940s established Nebraska as one of the oldest right-to-work states in America and part of the anti-union stronghold in middle America that runs from the Dakotas down through Texas.

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#30. Kentucky

– Members of unions: 126,000 (7.2% of employed population)
— Down 1,000 from 2020 (-0.3 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 170,000 (9.8% of employed population)
— Up 10,000 from 2020 (+0.4 percentage points)

Few states have a labor history as dramatic, bloody, and consequential as the coal wars that consumed Kentucky throughout the late 1800s and early 20th century—particularly the Harlan County War of the 1930s. In recent years, Kentucky has never been able to compete with Ohio and West Virginia in terms of the percentage of its miners who were union members. Membership plummeted from an already low 35% of miners in 1997 to 17% in 2017.

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#29. New Mexico

– Members of unions: 58,000 (7.5% of employed population)
— Up 5,000 from 2020 (+0.4 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 70,000 (9.1% of employed population)
— Up 6,000 from 2020 (+0.5 percentage points)

New Mexico—which is not a right-to-work state—includes an employed population with more than 7% union membership. That number was up over 8% as recently as 2017, but even that represents a decline from pre-recession membership.

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#28. Wisconsin

– Members of unions: 215,000 (7.9% of employed population)
— Down 12,000 from 2020 (-0.8 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 251,000 (9.3% of employed population)
— Down 13,000 from 2020 (-0.9 percentage points)

Despite its long history as a labor stronghold for American agriculture and industry, Wisconsin is now a right-to-work state with membership numbers that lag well below the national average. The state’s membership percentages have also declined much more rapidly than they have in the country as a whole. In 1983, nationwide union membership had dropped to 18%, but nearly one in four Wisconsinites were still represented by organized labor. 

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#27. District of Columbia

– Members of unions: 31,000 (8.9% of employed population)
— Up 1,000 from 2020 (+0.3 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 35,000 (9.9% of employed population)
— Up 2,000 from 2020 (+0.4 percentage points)

The District of Columbia is situated right on the border of the pro-union Northeast and the South, where right-to-work laws first emerged and remain the strongest. Today, District government employees alone are represented by 114 collective bargaining units, 48 locals, and 15 international unions.

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Momoneymoproblemz // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Indiana

– Members of unions: 256,000 (9% of employed population)
— Up 21,000 from 2020 (+0.7 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 290,000 (10.2% of employed population)
— Up 20,000 from 2020 (+0.7 percentage points)

Union membership in Indiana reached 11.3% in 2011. The next year, the state enacted right-to-work legislation, and the decades-long decline in union membership quickly accelerated.

Brian Hillegas // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Missouri

– Members of unions: 235,000 (9% of employed population)
— Down 3,000 from 2020 (-0.4 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 266,000 (10.2% of employed population)
— Up 12,000 from 2020 (+0.1 percentage points)

Missouri and neighboring Illinois are an island in a sea of right-to-work states, and Missouri voters chose to keep it that way when the issue came to a vote in 2018. A proposed right-to-work law was rejected by 67% of Missourians—an overwhelming majority.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#24. Kansas

– Members of unions: 120,000 (9.2% of employed population)
— Up 6,000 from 2020 (+0.3 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 148,000 (11.4% of employed population)
— Up 4,000 from 2020 (+0.2 percentage points)

In 2018, while Missouri was overwhelmingly rejecting a right-to-work measure, neighboring Kansas marked its 60-year anniversary as a right-to-work state. According to the Lawrence Journal-World, early labor opponents in Kansas were successful in exploiting fears of communism and integration to fracture a long-standing alliance between farmers and industry workers.

Darren Ringer // Wikimedia Commons

#23. West Virginia

– Members of unions: 66,000 (9.6% of employed population)
— Down 5,000 from 2020 (-1.1 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 73,000 (10.5% of employed population)
— Down 2,000 from 2020 (-0.8 percentage points)

West Virginia’s labor history is rich in drama. Like Kentucky, West Virginia was a primary battleground for the coal wars—where mining bosses and their collaborators in law enforcement and government terrorized, arrested, evicted, harassed, and murdered labor leaders and union members. In 1921, as many as 100 people died in the Blair Mountain Massacre, the largest labor uprising in American history, when strikebreakers and their allies in the military and police attacked thousands of West Virginia miners and their families.

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#22. Delaware

– Members of unions: 42,000 (9.7% of employed population)
— Up 1,000 from 2020 (no percentage point change)
– Workers represented by unions: 44,000 (10.2% of employed population)
— No change from 2020 (-0.1 percentage points)

Despite being halfway through the list, Delaware is one of only a few states so far that doesn’t enforce right-to-work laws, a fact that reinforces just how detrimental those kinds of laws are to organized labor. At the start of 2020, Delaware made headlines when its employees in the state legislature announced plans to unionize.

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#21. New Hampshire

– Members of unions: 65,000 (10.1% of employed population)
— Up 3,000 from 2020 (+0.3 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 73,000 (11.3% of employed population)
— Up 3,000 from 2020 (+0.2 percentage points)

Despite trending Republican from the late 1940s through the late 1980s, New Hampshire is now a reliably Democratic state. Labor unions there are small but influential. In 2017, organized labor in New Hampshire led a successful effort to defeat proposed right-to-work legislation in the state.

Mbell1975 // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Maryland

– Members of unions: 295,000 (11% of employed population)
— Down 56,000 from 2020 (-2.1 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 332,000 (12.3% of employed population)
— Down 48,000 from 2020 (-1.8 percentage points)

In Maryland, the top two Food and Commercial Workers local unions represent the largest number of union members in the state by far. Together, locals 400 and 27 boast more than 39,000 members.

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#19. Montana

– Members of unions: 49,000 (11.2% of employed population)
— Down 1,000 from 2020 (-0.8 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 56,000 (12.9% of employed population)
— Up 2,000 from 2020 (-0.1 percentage points)

Off the coast, the entire inland Western United States from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean is made up of right-to-work states except three: blue Colorado and New Mexico, which fit the pattern, and ruby red Montana. A right-to-work bill, supported by the state’s Republican governor, was defeated on the floor of the Montana House of Representatives in March 2021.

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#18. Ohio

– Members of unions: 596,000 (12% of employed population)
— Down 41,000 from 2020 (-1.2 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 647,000 (13% of employed population)
— Down 39,000 from 2020 (-1.2 percentage points)

A strange and headline-generating reversal of alliances played out in a battle between a Republican incumbent and Democratic challenger in a 2018 Ohio House election: virtually all significant unions in both the public and private sectors endorsed the GOP incumbent. Nationally, 90% of union spending goes to Democrats, but in Ohio in 2019 it was almost evenly split.

littlenySTOCK // Shutterstock

#17. Nevada

– Members of unions: 153,000 (12.2% of employed population)
— Down 8,000 from 2020 (-1.2 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 176,000 (14.1% of employed population)
— Down 10,000 from 2020 (-1.3 percentage points)

The sheer size of the Las Vegas hospitality industry makes Nevada hard to compare to other states, but it has proven to be a model for union strength in modern times. However, its union membership has declined in recent years.

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#16. Vermont

– Members of unions: 32,000 (12.3% of employed population)
— Up 1,000 from 2020 (+0.5 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 37,000 (14.2% of employed population)
— Up 1,000 from 2020 (+0.4 percentage points)

Like all of its New England neighbors and the Northeast in general, Vermont is not a right-to-work state. In October 2020, the state’s Republican governor signed a bill that expands access to new employees for public-sector unions and includes other protections for organized labor.

Christopher Boswell // Shutterstock

#15. Maine

– Members of unions: 70,000 (12.4% of employed population)
— Down 12,000 from 2020 (-2.3 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 83,000 (14.7% of employed population)
— Down 10,000 from 2020 (-2.0 percentage points)

In 2017, Republican Gov. Paul LePage pushed to have Maine become the first Northeastern state to pass a right-to-work law. LePage argued that it was a necessary step to attract businesses, but his push was unsuccessful, the mixed state legislature balked, and in 2019, Maine elected a Democratic governor.

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#14. Massachusetts

– Members of unions: 402,000 (12.6% of employed population)
— Up 45,000 from 2020 (+0.6 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 433,000 (13.6% of employed population)
— Up 50,000 from 2020 (+0.8 percentage points)

Labor in Massachusetts flexed its muscles when the governor began devising reopening plans in May 2020, after the pandemic forced an economic shutdown in the state. Since union laborers comprised the majority of the front-line service workers who would be most affected, union leaders demanded a seat at the table of the committee tasked with crafting the reopening strategy.

Derek.cashman // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Pennsylvania

– Members of unions: 693,000 (12.9% of employed population)
— Down 24,000 from 2020 (-0.6 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 732,000 (13.6% of employed population)
— Down 43,000 from 2020 (-1.0 percentage point)

As an early leader in the mining, railroad, coal, and agriculture industries, Pennsylvania played a critical role in America’s formative organized labor movements. It’s not a right-to-work state, and starting in 1988, non-union, public-sector laborers who didn’t want to join or pay dues paid a reduced fee to be covered by union-earned collective bargaining agreements. Called the fair-share fee, this plan—and others like it all across America—was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2018 in a devastating decision against organized labor.

Rachel KRamer // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Michigan

– Members of unions: 540,000 (13.3% of employed population)
— Down 64,000 from 2020 (-1.9 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 620,000 (15.3% of employed population)
— Down 41,000 from 2020 (-1.3 percentage points)

In 2012, Michigan shocked the country when it became the 24th state to pass a right-to-work law in what had long been the cultural, historical, and political heart of the American labor movement. In 2018, five years after the law went into effect, nine of Michigan’s 11 largest unions reported declines in membership and political spending.

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Daniel Schwen // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Illinois

– Members of unions: 752,000 (13.9% of employed population)
— Up 13,000 from 2020 (-0.4 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 818,000 (15.2% of employed population)
— Up 30,000 from 2020 (no percentage point change)

The Pullman Strike, which led to the creation of Labor Day, took place in Illinois, home to the final resting place of Mother Jones. Some of the most important moments in the history of organized labor took place in Illinois as well, including the Cherry Mine Disaster, the Herrin Massacre, and the Haymarket Affair.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#10. Connecticut

– Members of unions: 223,000 (14.6% of employed population)
— Down 39,000 from 2020 (-2.5 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 248,000 (16.3% of employed population)
— Down 34,000 from 2020 (-2.1 percentage points)

Connecticut has recently been a battleground for the labor movement in the Northeast. In 2019, unions prevailed in two high-profile legislative battles, one that guaranteed a $15 minimum wage and another that granted paid medical leave. The state remains on the front lines of the region’s ongoing labor battles.

Will Hart // Flickr

#9. Rhode Island

– Members of unions: 75,000 (15.7% of employed population)
— Down 6,000 from 2020 (-2.1 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 83,000 (17.4% of employed population)
— Down 4,000 from 2020 (-1.7 percentage points)

Although tiny in size, Rhode Island boasts one of America’s biggest union membership rolls in terms of the percentage of employee population—and it’s also home to some of organized labor’s oldest and richest history. The forerunners to Rhode Island’s first unions emerged in the early 1750s, before America was even a country.

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#8. Alaska

– Members of unions: 46,000 (15.8% of employed population)
— Down 3,000 from 2020 (-1.9 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 50,000 (17.2% of employed population)
— Down 5,000 from 2020 (-2.3 percentage points)

Iowa’s recertification law is hardly the only example of anti-union legislators erecting unnecessary legal barriers making it harder to join a union, to recruit new union members, and to stay within the state’s regulations. In Alaska, for example—a state with a long history of labor solidarity—the governor pushed for a rule in 2019 that would force union workers to opt in to their unions every year.

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#7. California

– Members of unions: 2.5 million (15.9% of employed population)
— Up 27,000 from 2020 (-0.3 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 2.8 million (17.8% of employed population)
— Up 102,000 from 2020 (+0.2 percentage points)

California is one of only two states in America that still measures its union members in the millions—and organized labor’s membership rolls in the Golden State continue to grow. After years of decline, unions in California realized gains among electricians, nurses, mechanics, researchers, animation artists, and more. This growth has been enabled by a labor-friendly state legislature.

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#6. Minnesota

– Members of unions: 416,000 (16% of employed population)
— Up 18,000 from 2020 (+0.2 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 446,000 (17.1% of employed population)
— Up 19,000 from 2020 (+0.1 percentage points)

Minnesota joins Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri as the only remaining states in the Midwest not governed by right-to-work laws. The state’s labor activists are famous for their intense political participation, and Minnesota union membership has increased as the state adds more and more jobs.

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#5. New Jersey

– Members of unions: 608,000 (16.2% of employed population)
— Up 8,000 from 2020 (+0.1 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 672,000 (17.9% of employed population)
— Up 12,000 from 2020 (+0.1 percentage points)

New Jersey is home to some of the oldest industrial centers, and its history in the labor movement goes back nearly as far as the industrial revolution. Shortly after the country won its independence, laborers in New Jersey’s massive shoemaking industry organized for better working conditions.

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#4. Oregon

– Members of unions: 318,000 (17.8% of employed population)
— Up 43,000 from 2020 (+1.6 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 336,000 (18.8% of employed population)
— Up 43,000 from 2020 (+1.5 percentage points)

Oregon is part of the organized labor stronghold that is the American West Coast. As union membership declined nationwide in 2019, membership rolls in Oregon went up. The downside, however, is that the influence of organized labor appears to have waned since the Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that non-union members can’t be forced to financially contribute to collective bargaining initiatives.

Oragne_Suede_Sofa // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Washington

– Members of unions: 629,000 (19% of employed population)
— Up 72,000 from 2020 (+1.6 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 661,000 (20% of employed population)
— Up 65,000 from 2020 (+1.4 percentage points)

One of America’s most reliable labor strongholds, Washington state saw its membership rolls rise by more than 10% in 2019 as unions across the state added tens of thousands of new members. Among the modern legislative accomplishments attributed to union activism in Washington are a $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, and paid medical and family leave.

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#2. New York

– Members of unions: 1.7 million (22.2% of employed population)
— Up 68,000 from 2020 (+0.2 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 1.9 million (24.1% of employed population)
— Up 85,000 from 2020 (+0.5 percentage points)

New York stands with California as the only two states left with seven-figure union membership rolls. From the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building, to the network of subterranean tunnels that carry millions of New Yorkers on the city’s subway system every day, the evidence of New York City’s industrial heritage is literally everywhere you look. But it’s not just the big city—unions have contributed to every facet of the labor, politics, and social fabric across the state.

You may also like: 30 big companies that started with little to no funding

Izabela23 // Shutterstock

#1. Hawaii

– Members of unions: 121,000 (22.4% of employed population)
— Up 1,000 from 2020 (-1.3 percentage points)
– Workers represented by unions: 131,000 (24.1% of employed population)
— Up 1,000 from 2020 (-1.6 percentage points)

Only two states can still boast union membership of more than 20% of their working population—New York and Hawaii. The island chain witnessed labor uprisings long before achieving statehood, which were largely organized by race among laborers toiling in what was then the state’s sugar plantation system. Once workers united and formed one single union, however, organized labor grew deep roots in the state, and Hawaii continues to be America’s foremost union state.

You may also like: Can you guess the company these real ‘Jeopardy!’ questions are about?

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5 common auto collision repairs and how much they cost

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Cheapinsurance.com compiled this list of five common auto collision repairs using information from across the internet. Cost estimates come from a variety of sources, including LendingTree and Chase Bank.   
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5 common auto collision repairs and how much they cost

There were 5.2 million nonfatal motor vehicle crashes in 2020, down 22% from 2019, according to the most recent complete data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The number of fatal crashes rose slightly (6.8%), while the number of people injured declined 17%. Most fatal crashes occur within 25 miles of home and at speeds of less than 40 miles per hour.

Cheapinsurance.com compiled this list of five common auto collision repairs using information from across the internet. Cost estimates come from a variety of sources, including LendingTree and Chase Bank.

Owning a car can be expensive. The average yearly cost for a new vehicle in 2022 is $10,728, including fuel, maintenance, and insurance, according to August 2022 research from AAA. Repairs required after collisions can push up that price tag. While some damage, such as a small ding or minor mark in the paint, lends itself to do-it-yourself repairs, other work is better left to a professional.

Continue reading to learn about the cost of some of the most common repairs required after auto collisions.

Car with a dented rear bumper after an accident

Emily Skeels // Shutterstock

Bumper damage

Car bumpers are designed to absorb the energy of a crash and protect the front and back of the car in a low-speed collision. That includes the hood and trunk, grille, fuel, exhaust, and cooling systems, and headlights, taillights, and parking lights.

Repairs to a bumper can cost between $100 and $1,000, according to Eli’s, an auto body repair company in Southern California, while a replacement would run about $800 to $2,000. Because many modern vehicles have sensors and cameras in their bumpers, they must be replaced or repaired, adding to labor costs.

Car with damage to its left side doors

Kittipong33 // Shutterstock

Car door damage

Car door repairs can cost as little as $50 if you just need a small dent fixed. The price rises if the paint must be matched to fix scratches as well.

Modern car doors house complex wiring and mechanisms for locks and windows, which can be expensive to repair. If the door has more than minor dents and scratches, you might need to replace it. You could pay $800 for the door, plus several hundred dollars for the labor.

Scratch abrasion on car front bumper

ThamKC // Shutterstock

Scratched paint

When it comes to scratches on your car, it’s the depth of the damage that matters. That’s because the paint on your car has numerous layers of finish. Marks in the top clear coat are the easiest to fix. Deeper scratches can be a multilayer job, while those that reach the metal should be repaired quickly so the car does not rust.

If you have a newer car, a dealership can find the correct paint using the vehicle identification number or VIN. If you want to tackle the repair yourself, you can typically buy about 2 ounces of paint for $50 to $300. Dealerships will charge $150 to $1,000 to repair a scratch and twice that for work on the hood or doors.

Shattered front windshield on the right passenger side of a car

Elena Berd // Shutterstock

Cracked windshield

You might be able to leave small chips in your windshield—the ones caused by a pebble, ice, or other small debris from the road hitting your car. But larger cracks often spread and can obstruct your view. Before replacing the windshield, it’s important to ask yourself: Is it on the driver’s side, is there more than one crack, is it longer than 6 inches, and does it start at the edge?

A new windshield could cost between $250 and $400. For a luxury car, the price can run from $1,000 to more than $4,500. Repairing a chip on an older car typically ranges between $60 and $100.

Dented back panel on a right side of car

happycreator // Shutterstock

Dented panels

The price of repairing a dent can range widely, from $50 to $2,500. Small dents from rocks or hail, for example, can cost around $50 to $125 to fix. Larger dents resulting from a collision can cost $150 or more.

What drives up the price? A bumper, for example, might have electrical parts such as sensors. Dents might stretch across several panels, which would need replacing. More expensive work can include repainting or sanding.

This story originally appeared on Cheapinsurance.com and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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Electric vehicles zoom into focus at the Detroit Auto Show

North America’s biggest auto show back in action after a two-year hiatus.

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The buzz out of North America’s biggest auto show is all about electric vehicles.

The 2022 North American International Auto Show — most commonly called the Detroit Auto Show — returned to in-person action after a two-year hiatus, although for a somewhat scaled-back version. Many automakers — including buzzy EV manufacturers Rivian and international brands like Nissan — were absent from the show. As Bloomberg reports, many automakers have turned to social media, pop-ups, and popular events like the Consumer Electronics Show to make their big presentations.

As we’ve previously reported, Chrysler, GM, and Ford are all-in when it comes to EVs. The former planning to be an all-EV brand by 2028, and the latter pushing to build 600,000 EVs annually by 2023. In 2021, GM announced an increase in its EV and AV investments through 2025, to $35 billion — a 30% increase from previous-announced plans.

Speaking to CBC News, Chrysler Brand CEO Christine Feuell said “our transition really starts in the next couple of years as we migrate to full electrification.” In the works for the automaker is its first battery electric car, planned for 2025. From here, they hit warp speed, with Chrysler looking at a timeline of approximately seven years before they offer only EVs.

Highlights of the ‘Big Three’ automakers’ EV offerings include Ford’s F-150 Lightning EV pick-up and Mustang Mach-E SUV; GM/Chevrolet’s Equinox EV, Silverado EV Pickup, and new electric version of the Hummer; and Dodge’s Charger Daytona SRT, touted as the world’s first all-electric muscle car by the U.S. automaker.

As CBC reports, additional electrified highlights of the show include:

  • Volvo’s truck division announced plans for six new electric-powered trucks. They’re anticipating transitioning half of its fleet to electric by decade’s end.
  • Plug Zen, a startup based in Detroit, offering a range of charging stations and infrastructure.
  • Commercial EV company Harbinger debuted its EV platform, which they promote as ‘transformative’ to the medium-duty industry — ”the backbone of the commercial transportation industry,” according to CEO John Harris.
  • The Shyft Group, another commercial vehicle manufacturer, brought its solar and wind powered Blue Arc portable car charger. “Think of it like a mobile gas station,” explained Eric Fisher, general manager of Shyft Innovations, to CBC.

US President Joe Biden also made an appearance at the show, hopping behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 to promote the US government’s plan to spend $900M (USD) building a 85,300 km charging station across 35 states. This is part of a previously-announced $1 trillion infrastructure law that also includes a federal EV tax credit.
As Reuters reports, sales of EVs in the US took a leap by 83% in 2021, but represent only about a 3% share of the market.

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IBM Canada’s Centre for Advanced Studies is weaving the perfect storm of innovation

IBM’s Marcellus Mindel on how the company’s Enterprise Design Thinking and WeaveSphere technology conference are paving the way for new possibilities.

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Marcellus Mindel
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The city council meeting starts with uneventful, routine opening remarks. Then all hell breaks loose, and the shouting begins.

“Our kids cross that street, and these crazy drivers fly up and down it like maniacs,” a mother of two young boys yells from the back, pointing around frantically at familiar faces.

“That isn’t possible with the unnecessary number of stop signs and lights already on that street,” a motorist fires back. “We don’t need a new crosswalk. It will clog things up even more.”

“You know full well you roll through those signs,” a concerned father chirps in response.

This situation is a hypothetical example that Marcellus Mindel calls a thought experiment. He’s out to prove a point about the effectiveness of traditional problem-solving techniques. Mindel, who is head of Advanced Studies at IBM Canada, says a design thinking approach can produce different, and often better outcomes.

“With a design approach, you first ask why the kids are going across the street,” he says. “Turns out, they’re going to after-school activities. And it turns out, there are already after-school activities on the same city block that would be better suited for the kids than crossing a busy street, they just don’t know about it.” 

Mindel continues to iterate on possibilities and ideas in a rapid-fire manner as he runs through scenarios that might resolve the conflict in this fictional scenario. Through all of the ideation, however, he does not suggest a crosswalk is the answer.

If the after-school program is the reason the kids are crossing the road, that’s the users’ need. If they’re crossing because there isn’t a closer program, then the solution might be to instead design that.

“If a program doesn’t exist close to home, would the same money that was going to be spent on building a crosswalk be better spent creating a new afterschool program on the same block?”

There are multiple solutions to the same problem, but considering the end-user is key to an ideal problem-solving approach.

“I believe this kind of approach can get us to find other ways to solve problems rather than using hierarchy and politics to drive solutions,” he concludes.

How Enterprise Design Thinking unlocks innovation

Photo courtesy WeaveSphere

The approach Mindel is referencing is called Enterprise Design Thinking.

Design thinking seeks to address problems by framing the issues in a human-centric way by putting the end-user at the center of all decision-making. 

Enterprise Design Thinking puts the process into context in a business environment. 

Originally developed by IBM in the early 2010s, Enterprise Design Thinking is a framework that seeks to take the agility and innovation found in smaller startups, and make it possible to achieve within large enterprises where multiple departments and teams of people participate in design exercises. It aims to solve users’ problems by catering to the often ambiguous nature of enterprise-level projects where dispersed teams collaborate on big projects with the focus on user outcomes.

And the results of the approach are impressive. Forrester research says that teams who take an Enterprise Design Thinking approach are 75% more efficient, and can turn out products twice as fast.

How design thinking works in practice

To provide an example of how design thinking works in the practical world, Mindel shared a story of a student at Carleton University who wanted to reduce the amount of disposable hot beverage cups that were being used at a campus coffee shop.

With a design thinking process, the first step was to empathize with the students to understand what they were doing, saying, thinking, and feeling, rather than just demand they stop using the cups.

Through the process, they learned that the students sleep in, rush to class, or they’re over-tired from studying. As a result, their to-go coffee mug is often dirty, sitting on their car floor, or at the bottom of a morning commute bag. 

These students do indeed care about the environment, but user needs were simply getting in the way of the goal of reducing waste.

By looking at user needs and asking questions, Mindel says the group stumbled upon a “wow” moment and solution: What if the coffee shop put a washing station in the line so to-go mugs could be reused and cleaned on the spot, removing the barrier to why reusable mugs were not being used in the first place?

“In hindsight, it is absolutely, totally mind-blowingly obvious. And where I got excited about all this stuff, is that it helped me to rethink what innovation actually means.”

Photo courtesy WeaveSphere

Advancing enterprise innovation

Mindel started his career as a software engineer in Ottawa, and later took on a number of roles managing relationships with academic institutions and research and development labs, before becoming head of the Canadian IBM Centre for Advanced Studies in 2015.

After joining, Mindel began learning more about Enterprise Design Thinking, and the problem-solving and innovation framework lit a fire in him as he looked to lead teams to innovate in new ways.

“What good are improved means, to unimproved ends?” Mindel asks, referencing a famous Henry David Thoreau concept. “A lot of technology research today is about improving the means without asking the question about the ends.”

Asking questions, and looking at “the ends” is what he spends every day doing as the leader of IBM’s Canadian Advanced Studies team, one of several in a global network that specialize in collaborative research. Today, Mindel leads partnerships between students, educators, and researchers who apply IBM technology to business and societal challenges. 

How WeaveSphere became a design thinking epicenter

Creating innovation that matters within a large enterprise is no small task. If you find yourself scratching your head, unsure where to start, your first stop should be the Weavesphere technology conference.

Taking place November 15-17, 2022 in Toronto, WeaveSphere brings together world-class leaders and researchers from a range of disciplines who share insight, ideas, and co-create technology for the future.

The event is hosted by IBM’s Centre for Advanced Studies, and Evoke, and it invites everyone — even non-technical people — to attend. Attendees include undergraduate and graduate students, industry leaders, academics, IBMers, and anyone who wants to learn to leverage an enterprise design thinking approach.

Photo courtesy WeaveSphere

The event is under a new name this year (it was previously called CASCON) but 2022 marks the 32nd year IBM’s Centre for Advanced Studies has hosted an industry-leading, award-winning technology conference.

Unlike other technology conferences where audiences sit passively and listen to keynotes and panel discussions, WeaveSphere attendees roll up their sleeves and jump head-first into the innovation pool. Researchers present ideas, industry leaders ask questions, students suggest new ways of approaching a challenge — whatever the scenario, it’s practical, and attendees walk away with ideas and real connections to build their future.

What makes the event so successful is how it brings to life the work that Mindel and his team do every day within Advanced Studies, while also inviting a bigger group to the innovation roundtable.

“What we are doing through Enterprise Design Thinking is creating ways to improve the ends, and the means,” Mindel says. “We seek to help people enter into a problem space when they don’t know what to do, or even what the problem really is, or how to solve it.”

He likens the approach to the story of Frodo, a character in Lord of The Rings. Frodo is a Hobbit who volunteers to lead the dangerous, long journey in order to deliver a valuable and important asset (the ring) to Mordor. Frodo doesn’t know the way there, and he is not the most obvious first choice to lead the journey, as there are many others who are braver, stronger, and more experienced than he.

In Advanced Studies, and at the WeaveSphere conference, there is an opportunity for anyone to lead and present their ideas to problems. In fact, Mindel says that when many Frodo-like people from a variety of backgrounds write their ideas on sticky notes and put them together on a wall, magic (and true innovation) happens.

That is the essence of WeaveSphere. 

It’s an opportunity for everyone to get involved in the collaborative process of design thinking, and embark on their own journey into the unknown, to get to a faraway place, without a map.

Digital Journal is an official media partner for WeaveSphere. We will share updates leading up to the event, and we’ll be live on location from November 15-17,2022. Join us and get your tickets at weavesphere.co

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