Quebec’s unionization rate highest in North America: report

Unionization rate at 39.6 per cent in 2010 for Quebec, Canada at 30.8 per cent

A recent Quebec government report reveals that the unionization rate of the province’s total labour force is 39.6 per cent. With more than 1.3 million of Quebec’s workers governed by a collective agreement, the province has the highest unionization rate in North America, according to the report, “La présence syndicale au Québec en 2010.”

In the last decade, however, the unionization rate for the province has steadily decreased from a level of 40.9 per cent in 2001. This decreasing trend of union presence is reflected throughout North America. In Canada, the rate fell from 32.1 per cent in 2001 to 30.8 per cent in 2010. In the United States, 14.8 per cent of the population was unionized in 2001, while 13.1 per cent was unionized in 2010.

The report also indicated that the private sector has seen the greatest loss in unionization. In Quebec, the manufacturing sector alone recorded the largest decline of the decade: the unionization rate fell to 14.4 per cent in 2010 from 20.3 per cent in 2001. Across the country, the manufacturing sector unionization rate fell to 8.1 per cent in 2010 from 10.9 per cent in 2001.

In 2010, the highest unionization rate was found within the Quebec government sector at 80.8 per cent, compared to the rest of the country at 68.7 per cent.

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