A deep look at U.S. Census data shows that at least half of all of California’s 2.5 million union members are women and that the majority of all union workers are people of color. By contrast, 20 years ago the typical union member in California was a white man. This shift in the portrait of union membership comes as a “hot union summer” across the state rolls into what promises to be an equally militant fall, with public support for unions higher than it has been since the 1960s. That makes it a good moment to take a look at who California union members are, using recently updated data from the U.S. Census’ 2021-2022 Current Population Survey (CPS). Our analysis reveals union membership today is different than a generation ago. It’s not your grandfather’s union anymore.
Take a look at this chart book for details and read our accompanying blog post.