Union membership in the U.S. private construction workforce declined from 14.1 percent to 13.9 percent between 2013 and 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, construction unions gained 53,000 members in a year-over-year comparison. This conflicting data indicates fewer construction workers joined a union as the construction industry workforce grew with the improving economy.

In the U.S. private construction industry, 968,000 out of 6.968 million construction workers belonged to a union in 2014, BLS reports. The report also indicates the construction industry gained 494,000 jobs in a year-over-year comparison (6,474,000 jobs in 2013 versus 6,968,000 jobs in 2014).

The construction industry unemployment rate stood at 8.3 percent at the end of 2014; however, economists suspect the construction industry’s real unemployment rate is much higher, as a large population of the construction workforce fled the industry for jobs in other sectors of the economy, or left the workforce entirely during the recession.

For more information, visit www.unionstats.com.