“The single most important step in putting more Hoosiers back to work” – Right to Work

The facts speak for themselves in this Indiana Chamber of Commerce article:

Improving the per-capita income of Indiana workers and creating more job opportunities for Hoosiers would be among the major benefits of Indiana becoming the 23rd state to pass a right-to-work (RTW) law, according to research released today by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. In addition, statewide voter polling results show Hoosiers favoring adoption of RTW by a 3-to-1 margin.

Some are asking Speaker Bosma: Why Right to Work has not been passed and sent to Governor Daniels to sign?

Dr. Richard Vedder, an Ohio University economist, and his colleagues report in the study (Right-to-Work and Indiana’s Economic Future) that if Indiana had adopted RTW in 1977, per-capita income would have been $2,925 higher — or $11,700 higher for a family of four – by 2008. Looking forward (projecting the same growth rate in the next 10 years after adjusting for inflation), passage of a RTW law in 2011 would raise per capita income by $968 — or $3,872 for a family of four — by 2021.

This is the single most important step Indiana lawmakers could take in putting more Hoosiers back to work,” states Mike Blakley, chairman and CEO of Indianapolis-based Blakley Corporation and 2011 chair of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

The researchers note Indiana’s lagging economic numbers during the 31-year period (1977-2008):

  • Per-capita income growth: RTW states, 62.3%; United States average, 54.7%; non-RTW states, 52.8%; Indiana, 37.2%
  • Employment growth: RTW states, 100%; U.S. average, 71%; non-RTW states, 56.5%; Indiana, 42.8%
  • Growth in real personal income: RTW states, 164.4%; U.S. average, 114.2%; non-RTW states, 92.8%; Indiana, 62%

In the study, Vedder writes, “Our results suggest that the impact of a RTW law is to increase economic growth rates by 11.5%. The work (also) suggests that over two-thirds of the difference between Indiana and the national rates of economic growth in modern times is explainable by Indiana’s lack of a RTW law.”