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
The brief is available on the Web at