LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Las Vegas metro area has the 19th-highest rate of union membership out of 55 big cities in the U.S., according to new look at labor statistics.

That’s down significantly compared to 2020 statistics that showed Las Vegas at No. 6 in the nation, but still above the national average.

Labor Day weekend in Las Vegas means tourists, and unions are at the heart of the resorts that drive the Strip. The powerful Culinary Union continues to negotiate a new contract for its workers. The union took to the Strip on Aug. 10 to demand higher pay and benefits.

But lately, it’s been the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) that’s been in the news. The union has clashed with the Clark County School District over teacher pay. Although strikes are illegal in Nevada, CCEA has disrupted school board meetings and announced Wednesday that teachers would no longer work before or after school.

Another powerful union in Las Vegas, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), represents nurses and other health care workers. SEIU said this week it’s in the middle of one of the biggest organizing drives in recent years in a move to represent Nevada home care workers.

Las Vegas has a union membership rate of 11.8%, according to 2022 data. Two years before that, Las Vegas was at 15.4%. The study, published by Construction Coverage, a company specializing in construction insurance and software, looked at numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and

The national average for union membership is 10.1%, down from 24% in 1979. The report noted, “Labor unions in the United States have faced major challenges over the last several decades. Anti-union initiatives by employers, the growing prominence of the gig economy, and shifting labor laws, among other factors, all contributed to a steady decline in union membership.”

The study found that 111,651 workers in Metro Las Vegas are union members, and unions represent 13.2% of the workforce.

According to the latest data, unions are strongest in Hawaii, New York, Washington, Rhode Island and California in that order, with Nevada at No. 18.

The Top 10 unionized major metro areas:

  1. Buffalo, New York
  2. Sacramento, California
  3. New York-Newark-Jersey City
  4. Riverside-San Bernardino, California
  5. Seattle
  6. Providence, Rhode Island
  7. Detroit
  8. Portland, Oregon
  9. San Diego
  10. Hartford, Connecticut

“Union workers not only have more protection from unemployment, they also enjoy wage premiums over non-union workers,” the Construction Coverage report said.

“Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2022, the median wage for full-time union workers was $1,216 per week compared to only $1,029 per week for full-time non-union workers. In other words, union workers earn about 18% more than their non-union counterparts, which for the typical worker, is nearly $10,000 in additional compensation annually,” the report said.

See the full report here.