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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. State Unemployment Rate % (July 2012)
YES (#1) NORTH DAKOTA 3.0
YES NEBRASKA 4.0
YES SOUTH DAKOTA 4.4
YES OKLAHOMA 4.9
NO VERMONT 5.0
YES IOWA 5.3
NO NEW HAMPSHIRE 5.4
YES WYOMING 5.6
NO MINNESOTA 5.8
YES VIRGINIA 5.9
YES UTAH 6.0
NO MASSACHUSETTS 6.1
YES KANSAS 6.3
NO HAWAII 6.4
NO (#15) MONTANA 6.4
NO NEW MEXICO 6.6
NO DELAWARE 6.8
NO MARYLAND 7.0
NO MISSOURI 7.2
NO OHIO 7.2
YES TEXAS 7.2
YES ARKANSAS 7.3
NO WISCONSIN 7.3
NO WEST VIRGINIA 7.4
YES (#25) IDAHO 7.5
YES LOUISIANA 7.6
NO MAINE 7.6
NO ALASKA 7.7
NO PENNSYLVANIA 7.9
YES INDIANA 8.2
YES ALABAMA 8.3
YES ARIZONA 8.3
NO COLORADO 8.3
NO KENTUCKY 8.3
YES TENNESSEE 8.4
NO CONNECTICUT 8.5
NO WASHINGTON 8.5
NO OREGON 8.7
YES FLORIDA 8.8
NO (#40) DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 8.9
NO ILLINOIS 8.9
NO MICHIGAN 9.0
YES MISSISSIPPI 9.1
NO NEW YORK 9.1
YES GEORGIA 9.3
YES NORTH CAROLINA 9.6
YES SOUTH CAROLINA 9.6
NO NEW JERSEY 9.8
NO CALIFORNIA 10.7
NO RHODE ISLAND 10.8
YES NEVADA 12.0