Fewer Jobs Created, Fewer People With Private Health Coverage
New Hampshire citizens who are determined to pass a state law prohibiting compulsory union dues and fees as a job condition have waged a long and sometimes frustrating battle, but today they are close to victory. In 2016, gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu campaigned on the Right to Work issue and ultimately defeated his pro-forced unionism general election foe, Colin Van Ostern, in November. And this January, the New Hampshire Senate stood up to Big Labor and narrowly approved a Right to Work measure.
Unfortunately, the following month, a relative handful of union boss-appeasing Republican politicians in the state House banded together with Big Labor Democrats to block Right to Work for the time being.
But Right to Work supporters are already mobilizing for the next battle. They will keep fighting until they prevail.
The driving force of the Right to Work movement in New Hampshire, just like in other states, is ordinary citizens’ understanding that forced unionism is just plain wrong. But many New Hampshirites are campaigning for a Right to Work law in part because they believe such a law will foster faster job growth in their state.
Right to Work laws are, without a doubt, strongly correlated with faster employment gains. Overall, from 2006-2016 the percentage growth in employment in Right to Work states was more than double the aggregate growth for forced-unionism states and more than triple New Hampshire’s growth, according to U.S. Labor Department household survey data.
(Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia — the four states that adopted Right to Work laws between 2012 and 2016 — are excluded from this analysis.)
Given that more jobs are being created and sustained in Right to Work states, it’s not surprising that the number of people covered by private health insurance, a benefit typically obtained through employment, is rising far more rapidly in such states.
In fact, from 2008 (the first year for which comparable data are available) through 2015, the number of people with private health insurance coverage in states with longstanding Right to Work laws rose by 7.6%, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, private health coverage fell by 0.7% in forced-unionism states as a group and by 0.1% in New Hampshire alone.
The failure of forced-unionism states to create and sustain jobs that are productive enough to come with health benefits is evident. Yet, in a recent exchange regarding Right to Work posted on the web site of Citizens Count, New Hampshire’s Live Free or Die Alliance, Granite State AFL-CIO chief Glenn Brackett actually had the nerve to suggest forced unionism somehow improves access to health insurance!
A cursory look at the multiyear Census Bureau data on health insurance coverage in the 50 states (see the link below) will suffice to show Brackett cannot possibly be right. But apparently, he and his cohorts believe it is okay to mislead New Hampshire citizens for the sake of perpetuating compulsory unionism in the state.