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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Work - Unionization Rates

Relevance

Unions provide employees with a support network to address various work-related issues that can impact their well-being.  

Summary

  • National Picture — About one in three Canadian employees (31.5%) belonged to a union or were covered by a collective agreement in 2012.
  • Gender — In 2012, slightly more female than male employees belonged to a union or were covered by a collective agreement (32.8% for women and 30.3% for men).
  • Age — Unionization differed substantially by age. In 2012, the unionization rates ranged from 16.0% for employees aged 15 to 24 to 38.1% for employees aged 55 to 64.
  • Regions — In 2012, unionization rates varied from 23.5% in Alberta to 39.9% in Quebec.

National Picture

The unionization rate in Canada has decreased gradually over time, falling from 33.7% in 1997 to 31.5% in 2012.


This Chart contains data for Unionization rate, Canada, 1997-2012. Information is available in table below 2012 = 31.5 2011 = 31.2 2010 = 31.5 2009 = 31.5 2008 = 31.2 2007 = 31.5 2006 = 31.7 2005 = 32.0 2004 = 31.7 2003 = 32.3 2002 = 32.2 2001 = 32.3 2000 = 32.3 1999 = 32.3 1998 = 33.0 1997 = 33.7 (percent of employees) Unionization rate, Canada, 1997-2012

Source: HRSDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. Table 282-0078 - Labour force survey estimates (LFS), employees by union coverage, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), sex and age group, annual (persons), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unionization rate, Canada, 1997-2012 (percent of employees)
1997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
33.733.032.332.332.332.232.331.732.031.731.531.231.531.531.231.5

Gender

Historically, membership in unions by male employees was higher than membership by female employees. In 1997, it stood at 35.2% for male employees compared to 32.1% for female employees. However, in 2005 the unionization rates for male and female employees were roughly equal (32%). In 2012, the unionization rate was 32.8% for female employees compared to 30.3% for male employees.


This Chart contains data for Unionization rate, by gender, 1997-2012. Information is available in table below 2012 (Men) = 30.3 2011 (Men) = 29.9 2010 (Men) = 30.4 2009 (Men) = 30.3 2008 (Men) = 30.8 2007 (Men) = 31.3 2006 (Men) = 31.6 2005 (Men) = 32.1 2004 (Men) = 31.8 2003 (Men) = 32.7 2002 (Men) = 32.4 2001 (Men) = 33.0 2000 (Men) = 33.2 1999 (Men) = 33.2 1998 (Men) = 34.3 1997 (Men) = 35.2 2012 (Women) = 32.8 2011 (Women) = 32.4 2010 (Women) = 32.7 2009 (Women) = 32.6 2008 (Women) = 31.6 2007 (Women) = 31.8 2006 (Women) = 31.8 2005 (Women) = 32.0 2004 (Women) = 31.7 2003 (Women) = 31.8 2002 (Women) = 32.0 2001 (Women) = 31.6 2000 (Women) = 31.4 1999 (Women) = 31.3 1998 (Women) = 31.6 1997 (Women) = 32.1 (percent of employees) Unionization rate, by gender, 1997-2012

Source: HRSDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. Table 282-0078 - Labour force survey estimates (LFS), employees by union coverage, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), sex and age group, annual (persons), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unionization rate, by gender, 1997-2012 (percent of employees)
1997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
Men35.234.333.233.233.032.432.731.832.131.631.330.830.330.429.930.3
Women32.131.631.331.431.632.031.831.732.031.831.831.632.632.732.432.8

Age

In 2012, unionization rates ranged from 16.0% for employees aged 15 to 24 to 38.1% for those employees aged 55 to 64.

Employees under the age of 25 and over the age of 64 were much less likely to belong to a union or to be covered by a collective agreement than employees between the ages of 25 and 64.


This Chart contains data for Unionization rate, by age, 2012. Information is available in table below 65+ years = 26.7 55-64 years = 38.1 25-54 years = 33.9 15-24 years = 16.0 (percent of employees) Unionization rate, by age, 2012

Source: HRSDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. Table 282-0078 - Labour force survey estimates (LFS), employees by union coverage, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), sex and age group, annual (persons), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unionization rate, by age, 2012 (percent of employees)
15-24 years25-54 years55-64 years65+ years
16.033.938.126.7

Regions

In 2012, 39.9% of Quebec employees belonged to a union, followed closely by Newfoundland and Labrador (38.9%), Manitoba (36.0%) and Saskatchewan (35.4%).  

Alberta had the lowest unionization rate in 2012 at 23.5%, followed by Ontario at 28.2% and New Brunswick at 29.8%.


This Chart contains data for Unionization rate, by region, 2012. Information is available in table below BC = 31.3 AB = 23.5 SK = 35.4 MB = 36.0 ON = 28.2 QC = 39.9 NB = 29.8 NS = 30.6 PE = 34.2 NL = 38.9 CAN = 31.5 (percent of employees) Unionization rate, by region, 2012

Source: HRSDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. Table 282-0078 - Labour force survey estimates (LFS), employees by union coverage, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), sex and age group, annual (persons), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unionization rate, by region, 2012 (percent of employees)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBC
31.538.934.230.629.839.928.236.035.423.531.3

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Date Modified:
2014-08-20