Incomes and Employment Opportunities Boosted by Right to Work

This year, freedom-loving Missourians need help from around the nation. Without it, they may not be able to stop forced dues-funded union political operatives from destroying the Show-Me State’s fledgling Right to Work law. Credit: Ars Technica

Worker Freedom Boosts Employment, Incomes

Right to Work Worth the Effort Needed to Defeat Big Labor Machine

At the end of February, the U.S. Labor Department issued new and revised data regarding the number of civilian household jobs (a broad measure that includes the self-employed and contractors as well as workers on employer payrolls) in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In the aggregate, the data show household employment growth of under 6% from 2007 through 2017. But some states fared far better than others.

The 22 states that already had Right to Work laws prohibiting forced union dues and fees on the books back in 2007 enjoyed overall household employment growth of 8.8% over the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, aggregate employment in the 22 states that had not adopted Right to Work legislation as of the end of last year grew by just 4.2%, or less than half the Right to Work average.

(Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri passed Right to Work laws between 2012 and 2017. They are excluded from the analysis above.)

Five of the Six Worst Job Losers Are Still Forced-Unionism This Year

Six states suffered employment losses of at least 1.5% from 2007 to 2017. Of these, five are non-Right to Work states, and one became Right to Work only in 2016.

Meanwhile, seven of the top nine states for 10-year employment growth are Right to Work states.

In addition to being correlated with faster job growth, Right to Work is correlated with higher real disposable incomes.

U.S. Commerce Department data, adjusted for interstate cost-of-living differences according to an index calculated by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, a state government agency, show that the average disposable income per capita in Right to Work states in 2017 was $42,857.

That’s nearly $2,250 higher than the average for forced-unionism states.

Six of the nine states with the highest cost of living-adjusted disposable incomes are Right to Work.  But six of the eight states with the lowest cost of living-adjusted disposable incomes are forced-unionism.

“The ample evidence linking forced unionism to diminished growth in jobs and lower real, spendable incomes is one reason prompting more and more Americans to get involved in efforts to pass Right to Work laws in their states,” said National Right to Work Committee Vice President John Kalb.

Big Labor Rakes in Roughly $14 Billion a Year in Mostly Forced Dues, Fees and Assessments

Mr. Kalb continued:  “But despite lopsided public support for Right to Work laws, which has been confirmed by six decades of scientific polling, and despite all the evidence of their economic benefits, passing a state prohibition on forced union dues and fees normally requires a long and difficult fight.

“It’s not hard to understand why.

“Drawing on disclosure forms private-sector union officials are required to file with the federal government as well as other sources, the National Institute for Labor Relations Research has estimated that Big Labor rakes in a total of roughly $14 billion a year in mostly compulsory dues, fees and assessments.

“Enacting a Right to Work law,” Mr. Kalb explained, “requires persuading public officials that, despite the vast resources available to the union political machine, it is in their best interest to stand up to it.”

Over Next Few Years, Up To Six More States May Ban Forced Union Dues

Thanks to intensified local grass-roots activism as well as persistent, effective mobilization efforts by National Right to Work Committee staffers and members, freedom-loving citizens’ hopes are rising that new Right to Work laws can be enacted in at least half a dozen states over the next few years.

Among the possibilities are Montana, New Mexico, Delaware, Maine, and New Hampshire.

But Right to Work supporters will also have to fight hard to defend some of their recent gains.

In Missouri, for example, a Big Labor-instigated ballot measure to wipe off the books the Right to Work statute adopted by Show-Me State lawmakers just last year is expected to come before voters roughly six months after this Newsletter edition goes to press.

“There’s no denying that pro-Right to Work Americans have accomplished a lot over the past few years,” said Mr. Kalb.

“But it’s also plain to see that the nationwide battle against compulsory unionism is far from won.”

(Click here to download the May 2018 National Right to Work Newsletter)