Right-to-Work States Continue to Enjoy Significant Economic Advantages Over Michigan and Other Non-Right-to-Work States, According to New Report

Right-to-work states are creating jobs faster than Michigan and will soon surpass the state in per-capita disposable incomes

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007

Contact: Paul Kersey
Senior Labor Policy Analyst

MIDLAND — Right-to-work states continue to outperform states that allow for forced unionism — Michigan in particular — in every significant measurement of economic performance, according to a new policy brief released today by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

The report, which updates a 2002 study by Dr. William T. Wilson, found that over the last five years states with right-to-work laws experienced stronger economic growth and created more jobs than states, such as Michigan, that lack such laws. Right-to-work laws establish that workers cannot be forced to join or pay union dues as a term of employment. Employees do, however, retain the right to bargain collectively in a right-to-work state.

"The most surprising finding is that not only do right-to-work states have a better record than Michigan in economic growth and job creation, but they are poised to overtake Michigan in income as well," said the author, Mackinac Center Senior Labor Policy Analyst Paul Kersey. "If current trends continue, most right-to-work states will have higher per-capita disposable income than Michigan by 2010."

The policy brief finds that from 2001 to 2006, right-to-work states created jobs at twice the rate of non-right-to-work states, while Michigan actually lost jobs during that same period. Right-to-work states also saw their economies expand faster and had lower unemployment rates.

Kersey notes that a right-to-work law would improve the job climate in Michigan without complicating already difficult budget negotiations or creating environmental risks. "If anything, the advantages of right-to-work laws increased over the last five years," Kersey said. "Right-to-work appears to be a magnet for employers, and the pull is only getting stronger."

The brief is available on the Web at www.mackinac.org/8943.