2023 was a high-profile year for unions, with the “hot labor summer” resulting in record-breaking raises and greater awareness. Public approval for unions in the United States is at peak levels (67%) and nearly half of nonunionized workers have indicated they would join a union if they could. These statistics likely reflect an understanding that union membership offers important benefits and protections, even as workers continue to face many barriers to successfully forming a union and reaching a collective bargaining agreement.

Overall, women currently make up almost half of union members (45.6%), and union membership is especially important for women. While union membership for women overall decreased from 9.6% to 9.5% between 2022 and 2023, union membership among Black women rose slightly from 10.3% to 10.5% and for Latinas from 8.5% to 8.8%. At the same time, union membership for white women decreased from 9.5% to 9.3% and for Asian women decreased from 9.1% to 7.8%. Union membership for women has declined since data was first made available in 1983, but current trends indicate a potential future increase in women’s union membership.

Women who are union members experience more economic security for themselves and their families than nonunion members, including higher and more equal wages. For women of color, who face even more significant pay gaps and discrimination at work, union membership provides particularly meaningful wage improvements. Union members also have greater access to benefits—such as paid leave and sick days, predictable schedules, affordable health insurance, and retirement benefits—and the right not to be fired without cause.

Read the full fact sheet HERE.