UK are union members, figures released today show. Public sector union density fell by 0.3 percentage points in 2004. Despite this fall in density the number
of public sector union members rose by approximately 138,000 in 2004,
as the size of the public sector grew.
A National Statistics publication, 'Trade Union Membership 2004' was
published today by the Department of Trade and Industry.
The report, which is based on Labour Force Survey date for autumn
2004, also had the following key findings:
* The number of trade union members in the United Kingdom and the
rate of trade union membership fell in autumn 2004, when compared
with autumn 2003.
* In autumn 2004 an estimated 6.78 million people in employment in
the United Kingdom were members of a trade union. This was a
decrease of 0.5 per cent or approximately 36,000 people, compared
with levels recorded in autumn 2003. As a result, the rate of union
membership fell by 0.6 percentage points from 26.6 per cent to 26.0
per cent of all people in employment.
* The number of employees who were trade union members in the UK fell
by approximately 11,000 to 6.51 million in autumn 2004, compared to
6.52 million in 2003. The rate of union membership fell by 0.5
percentage points, from 29.3 per cent in 2003 to 28.8 per cent of
employees in autumn 2004.
* Less than one in five (17.2 per cent) private sector employees in
the United Kingdom were union members in autumn 2004. Private sector
union density fell by 1.0 percentage point in 2004.
* The number of male employees in the UK who were union members fell
by approximately 54,000 in 2004, while female employees in trade
unions rose by approximately 42,000. Male union density fell by 0.9
percentage points to 28.5 per cent. For women union density decreased
by a smaller 0.2 percentage points to 29.1 per cent.
* Of the nations, Northern Ireland had the highest union density
(39.3 per cent of employees). In Wales it was 37.0 per cent, and in
Scotland 33.2 per cent. Union density was lowest in England (27.5
* The hourly earnings of union members averaged£11.38 in autumn
2004, 17.1 per cent more than the earnings of non-union employees.
* Almost half of UK employees (48.4 per cent) were in a workplace
where a trade union was present. However, union presence was much
lower in the private sector (34.2 per cent) than the public sector
(84.7 per cent).
* The number of UK employees whose pay was covered by a collective
agreement was 7.23 million in autumn 2004, or 35.0 per cent of all
1. 'Trade Union Membership 2004' can be downloaded as a PDF file from
the following Department of Trade and Industry websites:
2. Printed copies of this report can be ordered at no charge from
Publications@DTI either online, by phone or by email: Logon to
http:www.dti.gov.uk/publications and search using URN04/1017.
Alternatively call the DTI Publications Orderline on 0845 015 0010
(+44 0845 015 0010) and provide the URN, or email them at:
3. The publication presents estimates of trade union membership from
the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and includes the latest estimates for
autumn 2003. The publication uses data weighted to be consistent
with post-2001 Census population estimates. Note that some estimates
for previous years have been revised slightly because of this
4. The Labour Force Survey has collected data from individuals on
whether they are trade union members in the autumn quarter since
1992, and previously collected the information in the spring quarter
from 1989 to 1991.
5. The Certification Officer for Trade Unions and Employers'
Associations provides a second source of data on trade union
membership, which goes back to 1975. A time series is available from
the DTI website at: