Union density thinned again in 2007

Workforce has grown faster than unionization over the last 10 years
By Lorna Harris
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 03/26/2008

The percentage of nonfarm employees in Canada covered by collective agreements, also known as ‘union density,’ fell slightly in 2007 to 30.3 per cent, according to a report recently published by Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC).

In 2007, about 40,000 more people were represented by unions than in the previous year, bringing the total number of unionized workers to 4,480,020 (up less than one per cent). However, the nonfarm labour force grew by 2.2 per cent (from just under 14.5 million to just over 14,782,000).

HRSDC reports the civilian workforce as a whole increased 1.4 per cent in 2007 to 17,593,000. Using this total, union density as a percentage of the entire civilian labour force would be 25.5%. However, for the purpose of discussing union density, the figure of 25.5% is misleading since few farm workers are allowed to join unions.