Americans in “Right to Work” States Celebrate Labor Day with Lower Unemployment Rates

Labor Day officially became a U.S. federal holiday in 1894, largely as a way from Congress to appease striking railway workers.

Ironically, that same movement is now putting certain U.S. states at a severe competitive disadvantage during the Obama Recession.

We’ve all heard of “Right to Work” laws which allow employees to decide for themselves whether they join and/or pay into a union at their respective places of employment; exceptions include those in certain defined categories, such as those in highly regulated industries (e.g. rail, airline and federal employees). A seemingly uncontroversial proposition, right? Wrong! The single largest interest group in American politics isn’t the Koch Brothers or Big Oil… it’s labor unions, and they give overwhelmingly to Democrats.

The results are demonstrable and predictable, Save Jerseyans. In April 2012, the United States’s 23 Right to Work states had an average unemployment rate of 6.9% while non-Right to Work states and the District Columbia had a combined average unemployment rate of 7.5%. That’s an average 0.6% lower unemployment rate for states that make union membership/contribution optional. The gap grew to a full point in July 2012: Right to Work states had an average 7.2% unemployment rate compared to 8.2% for non-Right to Work states…

Right to Work?U.S. StateUnemployment Rate % (July 2012)
YES (#1)NORTH DAKOTA3.0
YESNEBRASKA4.0
YESSOUTH DAKOTA4.4
YESOKLAHOMA4.9
NOVERMONT5.0
YESIOWA5.3
NONEW HAMPSHIRE5.4
YESWYOMING5.6
NOMINNESOTA5.8
YESVIRGINIA5.9
YESUTAH6.0
NOMASSACHUSETTS6.1
YESKANSAS6.3
NOHAWAII6.4
NO (#15)MONTANA6.4
NONEW MEXICO6.6
NODELAWARE6.8
NOMARYLAND7.0
NOMISSOURI7.2
NOOHIO7.2
YESTEXAS7.2
YESARKANSAS7.3
NOWISCONSIN7.3
NOWEST VIRGINIA7.4
YES (#25)IDAHO7.5
YESLOUISIANA7.6
NOMAINE7.6
NOALASKA7.7
NOPENNSYLVANIA7.9
YESINDIANA8.2
YESALABAMA8.3
YESARIZONA8.3
NOCOLORADO8.3
NOKENTUCKY8.3
YESTENNESSEE8.4
NOCONNECTICUT8.5
NOWASHINGTON8.5
NOOREGON8.7
YESFLORIDA8.8
NO (#40)DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA8.9
NOILLINOIS8.9
NOMICHIGAN9.0
YESMISSISSIPPI9.1
NONEW YORK9.1
YESGEORGIA9.3
YESNORTH CAROLINA9.6
YESSOUTH CAROLINA9.6
NONEW JERSEY9.8
NOCALIFORNIA10.7
NORHODE ISLAND10.8
YESNEVADA12.0
Matt Rooney

Matt Rooney

Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, Matt Rooney is a widely-respected New Jersey political commentator, practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights, and a graduate of the Rutgers Camden School of Law.

7 Comments

  1. …and lower wages. Because people who work full-time for a company are way out of line to expect that their wages and benefits would enable them to raise their families.

    How dare union workers be so presumptuous as to think they have rights? Don't they know that rights are only for the Ownership Class—and that the Ownership Class has an inalienable RIGHT to parasitically leech off of the value of workers' labor rather than actually producing anything on their own?

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  3. How dare they cut unemployment so more people are paying taxes, contributing to society and reduceing the deficit(if democrats would stop spending our money like its unlimited). You mean your giving the freedom of choice instead of strong arming us into paying union dues. If unions are so great, why wouldnt people choose to be in them instead of fighting for their right to choose. Unions were good ORIGINALLY for improving safe conditions. Now they eat up money and hurt business. Freedom of choice damn it. Dont you people want to live in a country thats free. Oh, no, you dont. You want communist socialist gov't. to redistibute everyones hard earned money, so that unable and UNWILLING people can live work free.

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