In the fall of 2011, just a couple of months before Indiana shocked Big Labor and media pundits by becoming the 23rd state to prohibit forced union dues and fees as a condition of employment, Forbes magazine issued its annual rankings of the 50 states for careers and business — and the Hoosier State didn’t fare well.
In the Forbes survey just a little more than two years ago, Indiana came in 34th overall, and an abysmal 49th for “growth prospects.” The state was expected to continue adding jobs far more slowly than the national average despite the fact that then-Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) was widely regarded as “pro-business.”
It was also in the fall of 2011 that Mr. Daniels and GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma (Indianapolis), who both had up to that time opposed consideration of Right to Work measures in the General Assembly, heeded the persistent pleas of grass-roots Right to Work activists and changed their position.
After that, Right to Work’s Indiana victory came quickly. Mr. Daniels signed a measure protecting employees from termination for refusal to bankroll an unwanted union on February 1, 2012.
None of the Five Midwestern Forced-Unionism States Has Matched Indiana’s Job Growth
Since Indiana instituted its Right to Work Law in February 2012, seasonally adjusted private-sector payroll employment in the state has increased by 82,000, or 3.3%.
That greatly exceeds the average 2.1% gain for Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, the five remaining forced-unionism states in the Midwest.
Not one of these states had a private-sector payroll job gain as great as Indiana’s.
In the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on monthly state employment and unemployment issued December 20, the most recent available as this month’s Newsletter goes to press, Indiana reported an especially strong gain of 25,300 private-sector payroll jobs for November alone.
According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, this was “the largest one-month increase in the Hoosier State on record.” The state’s November 2013 employment gains were substantial in an array of sectors, including manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities, construction, and professional and business services.
Right to Work Laws’ Primary Purpose Is to Protect Employees’ Personal Freedom
“The primary purpose of Right to Work laws is to protect the personal freedom of each employee to choose whether or not to bankroll a union,” said National Right to Work Committee Vice President Matthew Leen.
“However, decades of experience show that Right to Work laws also foster job and compensation growth.
“For example, in the 22 states that had Right to Work laws throughout the 10 years from 2002 to 2012, private-sector, nonfarm employment as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis [BEA] grew by 15.3% for the decade.
“That’s more than double the average for states that lacked Right to Work laws for the whole decade, and nearly half again as much as the national average.”
(Unlike the establishment jobs data reported by the BLS, BEA data track self-employment and contractual employment as well as payroll jobs.)
Late 2013 Job Growth Report Simply Adds to A Mountain of Evidence
Mr. Leen continued: “The December 20 BLS report showing a record monthly gain for private-sector employment in Indiana simply adds to a mountain of evidence. “Moreover, according to Indiana Economic Development Corporation chief of staff Chad Pittman, 64 companies who recently made job-creating investments in Indiana have expressly told him they wouldn’t have even considered Indiana were it not for the Right to Work Law.
“These 64 deals have brought a total of 8000 jobs and $2.5 billion in capital investment to Indiana.”