What are the top industries for union jobs?

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Union membership may have fallen from its heyday in the 1950s, but roughly 10 percent of workers belonged to a union in 2019, with industries including utilities and construction having the highest membership rates.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said about 14 million workers were union members in 2019, a year which also brought an uptick in the number of Americans who approve of labor unions.

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The BLS released the following data on union membership by industry this year:

1. Public sector: 33.6%

More than a third of public sector employees belong to a union. This figure includes federal, state and local government employees. Local government has the highest rate of union membership at nearly 40 percent. Local government jobs include firefighters and teachers.

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The largest public-sector union is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has roughly 1.6 million active and retired members.

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2. Utilities and transportation: 17.3%

Utilities include private-sector workers in the natural gas and electric power sectors, sewage and water. Transportation includes jobs such as railroad conductors and airline pilots.

Many workers in these fields are a part of unions under the umbrella of the AFL-CIO such as the Utility Workers Union of America, which has around 50,000 members.

In this Nov. 26, 2018, file photo, a Pacific Gas & Electric lineman works to repair a power line in fire-ravaged Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

3. Telecommunications: 14.1%

The telecommunications sector includes people who work for companies including satellite TV providers and wireless carriers.

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4. Motion pictures and sound recording: 13.6%

Ranking slightly lower than the telecommunications sector, 13.6 percent of workers in motion pictures and sound recording are union members. Well-known unions in this industry include the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which had 140,000 members as of 2018.

In this Dec. 3, 2019, file photo, workers erect a building under construction in Philadelphia. U.S. construction spending edged up 0.9% in March 2020 as building activity escaped the early impacts of the coronavirus shutdowns. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke,

5. Construction: 12.6%

Rounding out the top five is the construction industry. Construction is projected to grow 10 percent from 2018 to 2028, for a gain of about 704,000 jobs, which is faster than other occupations, according to the BLS.

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