U.S. Census Bureau data have long shown a substantial net migration out of states in which employees may be compelled to join a union or pay union dues as a job condition to states that protect the individual employee’s freedom to work, regardless of union affiliation or nonaffiliation.
From 2000 to 2009, for example, a net total of roughly five million Americans moved out of the 28 states that lacked Right to Work laws at that time and into the 22 states that had them. From April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012, there was an additional net migration of roughly 800,000 people to Right to Work states. (Since Indiana and Michigan prohibited forced union dues in 2012, there are now 24 Right to Work states.)
When confronted with such demographic data, apologists for compulsory unionism frequently claim, without offering any specific evidence, that retirees seeking sunny and temperate climates constitute the bulk of the net migration out of forced-unionism states like New Jersey, New York and Ohio. Of course, that wouldn’t explain why forced-unionism, but climatically attractive California had a huge net out-migration of 1.5 million form 2000 to 2009 and lost another 100,000 or so residents to other states from 2010 to 2012.
A new analysis of public policies and migrations patterns for the 50 states by political scientists William Ruger and Jason Sorens for George Mason University’s Mercatus Institute hammers a few more nails in the coffin of the “retiree” explanation for domestic migration out of forced-unionism states. Summarizing their findings for the New York Daily News (see the link below), Ruger and Sorens focus on the demographics of people moving from forced-unionism New York to Right to Work Florida:
According to the five-year American Community Survey, which the U.S. Census conducted from 2007 to 2011, 78% of the people who migrated from New York to Florida in those years were under age 60. The ages with the highest proportions of migrants to Florida were 18, 19, 21, 24, 28, 40 and 55.
Even leaving out the 18- and 19-year olds, many of whom are probably college students, that’s a lot of early retirees, and an astonishing number of young workers.
Even the numbers of New Yorkers moving to Florida in their late 30s and mid 40s aren’t much lower than the number of retirees moving at the end of their careers.
This means that an increasing number of New Yorkers either can’t afford to remain in their home state or can’t find work there — and are thus moving to states with friendlier business climates to find it.
New York’s future flees to Florida