Union membership is highest in these states, and some of them might surprise you

Between the United Auto Workers strike of General Motors and another by Kaiser Permanente workers that was narrowly avoided when they reached an agreement with the company, unions seem to be having a moment.

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Americans’ approval of labor unions reached its highest point in 15 years, a Gallup poll last year found. But that approval came as actual union membership reached a record low, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Construction Coverage, an industry research website.

Membership in unions has declined across various sectors like transportation, construction and manufacturing, the analysis found. And younger workers are joining unions at a lower rate, with just 9.3 percent of workers aged 25-34 joining them, compared to 13.3 percent of workers aged 55-64.

But despite the declining membership, Construction Coverage found that union members’ median weekly earnings were 22 percent higher compared to non-union workers.

Here are the 10 states with the highest union membership rates, according to Construction Coverage:

10. Michigan

Lansing is the capital of Michigan

  • 14.5 percent of workers are union members

9. California

San Francisco skyline at sunset.

  • 14.7 percent of workers are union members

8. New Jersey

Gold dome of the New Jersey State Capitol Building in Trenton on a beautiful spring day. (iStock)

  • 14.9 percent of workers are union members

7. Minnesota

A man uses a snowblower to clear snow from his car after more than twelve inches of snow fell in Minneapolis February 21, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Miller 

  • 15 percent of workers are union members

6. Connecticut

Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. Hartford is known for its attractive architectural styles and being the Insurance capital of the United States.

  • 16 percent of workers are union members

5. Rhode Island

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2014, file photo, visitors walk toward an entrance to The Breakers mansion in Newport, R.I. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

  • 17.4 percent of workers are union members

4. Alaska

Southeast Alaska. Tongass National Forest. Baranof Island. 

  • 18.5 percent of workers are union members

3. Washington

Stock photograph of the downtown Spokane, Washington skyline and the Spokane River at sunrise. (iStock)

  • 19.8 percent of workers are union members

2. New York

Aerial view of Lower Manhattan at sunset. (iSrock)

  • 22.3 percent of workers are union members

1. Hawaii

Skyline of Honolulu, Hawaii and the surrounding area. (iStock)

  • 23.1 percent of workers are union members

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