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Trade Union Membership 2007

Trade Union Membership 2007

DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM News Release (2008/157) issued by The Government News Network on 30 July 2008


A National Statistics publication, 'Trade Union Membership 2007' was published today by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). The report, which uses information taken from the Labour Force Survey for the fourth quarter 2007, had the following key findings:

The rate of union membership (union density) for employees in the UK fell by 0.3 percentage points in 2007, down from 28.3 per cent in 2006 to 28.0 per cent. Trade union density in the UK has now fallen 4.5 percentage points since 1995.

Amongst all those in employment in the UK, union density fell from 25.6 per cent in 2006 to 25.3 per cent in 2007.

For the sixth consecutive year, a higher proportion of women than men were trade union members. Union density among women was 29.6 per cent in 2007, while for men it was 26.4 per cent.

Of the four nations, Northern Ireland had the highest union density (39.7 per cent of employees). In Wales it was 37.3 per cent, and in Scotland 32.6 per cent. Union density was lowest in England at 26.6 per cent.

Among the English government office regions, the North East had the highest union density at 35.7 per cent, while the South East had the lowest union density at 21.0 per cent.

Private sector union density fell by 0.5 percentage points to 16.1 per cent in 2007, whereas public sector union density rose 0.3 percentage points in 2007 to 59.0 per cent.

Across all sectors, just under half of UK employees (46.6 per cent) were in a workplace where a trade union was present. Over one-third of UK employees said their pay and conditions were affected by a collective agreement.

Collective agreement covered around one in five private sector employees, while in the public sector collective agreement coverage was over three and half times greater at 72.0 per cent.

The hourly earnings of union members, according to the LFS, averaged £12.74 in 2007, 15.6 per cent more than the earnings of non-members (£11.02 per hour).

Notes to editors:

1. The latest release will be available in full at: at 9:30.

2. Further the "Trade Union Membership 2007" and earlier reports can also be downloaded from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform's (BERR) website:

3. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform helps UK business succeed in an increasingly competitive world. It promotes business growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads the better regulation agenda and champions free and fair markets. It is the shareholder in a number of Government-owned assets and it works to secure, clean and competitively priced energy supplies

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