Labour Research April 2002

Union news

Union density stable

The latest official figures on trade union membership show that 29% of employees are union members - a similar figure to that recorded a year earlier. These figures, known as "union density", are the first to be published from the Autumn 2001 Labour Force Survey.

They show that density among men, at 30%, is higher than that among women, at 28%. However, this is because far more women than men work part time, which makes the likelihood of being in the union much lower. Just 12% of male part timers and 22% of women part timers are union members.

Women in full-time employment are actually more likely than men to be a union member (33% compared to 31%). In fact, union membership in each category (full-time, part time, temporary and permanent) is higher for women than men.

Proportion of employees who are members of trade unions


Full time 31

Part time 12

All employees 30


Full time 33

Part time 22

All employees 28

* Source: Labour Force Survey