Georgetown-J.P. Morgan Study Forced-Dues States Job Declines

Among the 46 states that were either exclusively Right to Work or exclusively forced-unionism from 1991 to 2015, the 11 suffering the steepest declines in “good jobs” were all forced-unionism.

Many Forced-Dues States See ‘Good Job’ Opportunities Fall Sharply

The National Right to Work Committee has furnished numerous analyses over the years citing U.S. Census Bureau data that show forced-unionism states as a group chronically fail to offer appealing job opportunities to retain and attract college-educated, working-age adults.

For example, an article published in this Newsletter last August reported that, among the 47 states that were exclusively Right to Work or forced-unionism from 2009 to 2015, the five states with the lowest percentage gains in working-age, college-educated population over that period were all forced-dues states. And 11 of the 12 bottom-ranking states were forced-dues states.

On the other hand, the seven states with the highest percentage growth in their college-educated populations, aged 25-64, from 2009 to 2015 are all Right to Work states.

Now a report jointly prepared by Georgetown University’s Center For Education and the Workforce and J.P. Morgan Chase confirms that states that stubbornly continue not to protect employees from forced unionism are failing to offer good job opportunities for people with less than a bachelor’s degree as well.

‘These Good Jobs Have Median Earnings of $55,000 Annually’

The report (entitled “Good Jobs That Pay Without a BA”) gauges changes over time in the availability of blue-collar and skilled-services jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree and enable workers “to make a salary large enough to own a home”  and comfortably raise a family:

“There are 30 million good jobs [that don’t require a BA] in the United States today . . . . These good jobs have median earnings of $55,000 annually . . . .”

Nationwide the absolute number of such jobs increased modestly from 1991 to 2015.

But a minority of states experienced substantial declines in the number of good jobs for workers who don’t have a BA.

Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia all experienced decreases of 7.7% or more.

“Eleven of these 12 otherwise diverse states have one thing in common,” noted National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad. “They lacked Right to Work protections for the entire quarter-century period covered by the study.”

Twelve of 13 Top-Ranking States For Growth in Good Jobs Are Right to Work

Mr. Mourad added that the sole exception, Michigan, was actually a forced-unionism state for roughly 90% of the years analyzed. Michigan’s Right to Work law took effect during the spring of 2013.

He continued:

“During the same study period, 13 states experienced increases of more than 40% in the number of good-paying jobs that don’t require a BA.

“Among these 13, 12 — Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming — were Right to Work states that prohibit the termination of employees for refusal to pay dues or fees to an unwanted union for the entire period covered by the study.”

Overall, the 21 states that were already Right to Work as of 1991 experienced a 41% increase in the number of these “good-paying jobs” over the past quarter-century, while the 25 states that were still forced-unionism as of the end of 2015 experienced a 4% decline in good-paying jobs.

“Of course, the primary reason the Committee and our members are fighting to pass more state Right to Work laws and a national Right to Work law is that it’s just plain wrong to force employees to bankroll a union they don’t want, and never asked for, or be fired,” commented Mr. Mourad.

“But the ever-growing pile of evidence that forced unionism is economically detrimental for all kinds of employees is another important reason why expanding Right to Work protections to the millions and millions of employees who still lack them today is so important.”

(Source: February 2018 National Right to Work Newsletter)