The original purpose of Labor Day — to celebrate the American union movement — is far from the minds of most New Jerseyans on the unofficial last day of summer. But it’s interesting to note that in 2016, 16.1 percent of those employed in New Jersey belonged to a labor union.
That number has been steadily declining in the past 10 years, with the exception of a slight jump from 2015’s 15.4 percent 2016’s 16.1 percent. That translates into 644,000 union workers.
Still, the number of union workers in New Jersey is significantly higher than in most states. In 2016, the average for the country was just a bit over 10 percent. The highest rate of union employment is in New York, with 25.2 percent of workers represented by unions.