The following op-ed was written in anticipation of an attempt by Missouri’s Legislature to override a gubernatorial veto of “right to work” in the Show-Me State. Rio Grande Foundation was one of 80+ organizations nationally that signed a letter in support of Missouri becoming the 26th “right to work” state. Unfortunately for Missourians, the Legislature did not succeed, but Missouri is now competing with New Mexico to become the state that tips the balance to a majority of US states being “right to work.”

 

One notable policy shift that is picking up steam is the adoption of “right to work” laws. In the past few years, the idea that workers should be able to choose to associate with and/or pay dues to labor unions has spread to the traditionally heavily-unionized “Rust Belt” states of the Midwest. Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin have all adopted such laws while serious “right to work” efforts have been put forth in Missouri, West Virginia, and my home state of New Mexico.

With 25 states currently in the “right to work” column and 25 states still practicing forced unionism, we at the Rio Grande Foundation decided to track in real time where jobs were actually moving across America. “Right to work” laws have traditionally been associated with greater job growth, but how did this process work in real time?

So, we looked to the experts at Area Development for information. Founded in 1965, the publication “is considered the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation … Area Development is published quarterly and has 60,000 mailed copies.” In an explanation to the Foundation, its editor wrote that items for Area Development’s announcements listing are “culled from RSS feeds and press releases that are emailed to us from various sources, including economic development organizations, PR agencies, businesses, etc.

While not “all-inclusive,” the jobs tracked on the site will tend toward being high-paying “economic base jobs,” not fast food and retail.

Every month this year, we at the Rio Grande Foundation have tracked job announcements from Area Development at our blog www.errorsofenchantment.com [3]. When it comes to job creation in 2015, “right to work” states are America’s job creation powerhouses. Despite somewhat smaller populations overall, Area Development notes 105,229 jobs created or added in the 25 “right to work” states. During the exact same time period, forced-unionism states created or added a mere 25,311 jobs.

In other words, during 2015, using real-world jobs data from Area Development, “right to work” states have created or added more than 80 percent of jobs.

This is not a new trend. Over virtually any time period, “right to work” states have dominated American job growth. Between 1993 and 2009, for example, “right to work” states saw 37.9 percent job growth while forced unionism states grew by just 19.6 percent.

Americans have been moving in search of greater economic freedom since before the country was founded. The original settlers left Europe in search of economic opportunity and then spread from coast to coast for the same reason. Blacks fled the South before and for more than a century after the Civil War and are now returning in part due to the economic freedom to be found there.

Given this history and “right to work’s” success in terms of job creation, it is no surprise that Americans overwhelmingly support such laws. When Gallup polled Americans on a variety of labor issues in August, 2014, 77 percent of independents, 74 percent of Republicans, and even 65 percent of Democrats said they supported “right to work” laws. Americans said they support “right to work” even as they say they expressed strong support for unions 53-38 percent.

The freedom to choose is one of the unique features of America. For decades, Americans have “voted with their feet” by moving themselves and their jobs from forced unionism to worker freedom. Other states can and will soon benefit from this form of worker freedom.


Article printed from Watchdog.org: http://watchdog.org

URL to article: http://watchdog.org/238473/right-work-boosts-job-creation/

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[1] www.errorsofenchantment.com: http://www.errorsofenchantment.com

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