Right to Work States’ Factory Job Growth Triple Forced-Unionism States’


Analysis of recent U.S. Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics data covering the past five years confirms that net manufacturing employment in Right to Work states expanded three times as much as in non-Right to Work states. In both absolute and percentage terms, the data indicate employees in states where they can still be fired for refusal to pay dues or fees to an unwanted union have far fewer opportunities to find a new high paying manufacturing job.

In the 23 states that already had Right to Work laws on the books as of early 2012, the total number of payroll manufacturing jobs grew by 272,000, or 5.5%, over the next five years.  Over the same period, payroll manufacturing jobs grew by a meager 1.7% in the 22 states that still lacked Right to Work protections for employees as of the end of 2017.*

In addition to far greater job growth, Right to Work states offer manufacturing employees real, spendable incomes that are on average significantly higher than incomes for their counterparts in forced-unionism states.  U.S. Commerce Department data, adjusted for regional cost-of-living differences according to an index calculated by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, a state government agency, show that in 2016 (the most recent year for which such data are available) the average annual compensation per Right to Work state manufacturing employee was $77,691.

That’s more than $4,100 higher than the average for states that still lacked Right to Work protections in 2016.

*Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri are excluded because their Right to Work laws did not take effect until 2013 or later.  Missouri’s Right to Work statute has yet to take effect at all.)