Right to Work by the Numbers: Part 7: GDP by State and GDP per Capita by State

What follows is a list of U.S. states by GDP and GDP per capita in 2010. The “right to work” states are indicated in boldface.

Rank GDP Pct. of US Pop. GDP Per Rank Per
Total GDP (000’s) GDP (Millions) Capita Capita
United States 14,657,800 100.00 308.7 47,482
1 California 1,936,400 13.34 37.3 51,914 11
2 Texas 1,307,432 7.95 25.1 45,940 23
3 New York 1,156,500 7.68 19.4 57,423 6
4 Florida 754,000 5.20 18.8 40,106 39
5 Illinois 644,200 4.44 12.8 50,328 14
6 Pennsylvania 575,600 3.97 12.7 45,323 24
7 New Jersey 497,000 3.42 8.8 56,477 7
8 Ohio 483,400 3.33 11.5 42,035 32
9 Virginia 427,700 2.95 8.0 53,463 8
10 North Carolina 407,400 2.81 9.5 42,884 30
11 Georgia 403,100 2.79 9.7 41,711 34
12 Massachusetts 377,700 2.60 6.5 58,108 5
13 Michigan 372,400 2.57 9.9 37,616 41
14 Washington 351,100 2.42 6.7 52,403 9
15 Maryland 300,000 2.07 5.8 51,724 12
16 Indiana 267,600 1.84 6.5 41,169 35
17 Minnesota 267,100 1.84 5.3 50,396 13
18 Arizona 261,300 1.80 6.4 40,828 38
19 Colorado 259,700 1.79 5.0 51,940 10
20 Wisconsin 251,400 1.73 5.7 44,105 28
21 Tennessee 250,300 1.72 6.3 39,730 40
22 Missouri 246,700 1.70 6.0 41,117 36
23 Connecticut 233,400 1.61 3.6 64,833 3
24 Louisiana 213,600 1.47 4.5 47,467 20
25 Alabama 174,400 1.20 4.8 36,333 45
26 Oregon 168,900 1.16 3.8 44,447 26
27 South Carolina 164,300 1.13 4.6 35,717 47
28 Kentucky 161,400 1.11 4.3 37,535 42
29 Oklahoma 160,500 1.11 3.8 42,237 31
30 Iowa 147,200 1.01 3.0 49,067 18
31 Kansas 128,500 0.89 2.9 44,310 27
32 Nevada 127,500 0.88 2.7 47,222 22
33 Utah 116,900 0.81 2.8 41,750 33
34 Arkansas 105,800 0.73 2.9 36,483 44
35 Mississippi 98,900 0.68 3.0 32,967 50
36 Nebraska 89,600 0.62 1.8 49,778 16
37 New Mexico 75,500 0.52 2.1 35,952 46
38 Hawaii 68,900 0.47 1.4 49,214 17
39 West Virginia 66,600 0.46 1.9 35,053 48
40 Delaware 62,700 0.43 0.9 69,667 1
41 New Hampshire 61,600 0.42 1.3 47,385 21
42 Idaho 54,800 0.38 1.6 34,250 49
43 Maine 53,200 0.37 1.3 40,923 37
44 Rhode Island 49,500 0.34 1.1 45,000 25
45 Alaska 45,600 0.31 0.7 65,143 2
46 South Dakota 39,900 0.27 0.8 49,875 15
47 Wyoming 38,200 0.26 0.6 63,667 4
48 Montana 37,200 0.26 1.0 37,200 43
49 North Dakota 33,400 0.23 0.7 47,714 19
50 Vermont 26,400 0.18 0.6 44,000 29

Of the top ten states by total GDP, four are “right-to-work” states; of the top twenty, eight are “right to work”; of the top thirty, 14 are “right to work.”

In contrast, of the top ten states by per-capita GDP, two are “right to work” states”; of the top twenty, seven are “right to work” states; of the top thirty, thirteen are “right to work.”

Moreover, of the nine “right to work” states in the top twenty-five states in total GDP, all but Virginia rank 20 or more spots lower in per-capita GDP.

So there is a clear pattern here: the difference between the “right to work states” the “pro-labor” states is more pronounced in terms of per-capita GDP than in terms of total GDP: that is, any economic gains reflect population growth and not increased wealth across the population.

This difference has a corollary in both the lower average wages and the higher numbers of low-wage jobs in “right to work” states. The “average” worker may find it somewhat easier to find employment in at least some of the “right to work” states, but it may be more difficult to find employment that pays a living wage. Notably, among the “right to work” states, Virginia’s singularly high rank in both total GDP and per-capita GDP seems related to, if not directly reflective of, the large percentage of well paid and largely unionized federal workers in the densely populated northern counties surrounding Washington, D.C.

Most tellingly, between 2004 and 2010, there was almost no movement in the rankings by either total GDP or per-capita GDP. Michigan experienced a drop of several places in both categories, and three other pairs of states simply switched places in terms of total GDP. So, in terms of total GDP and especially in terms of per-capita GDP, there is very little evidence that the “right to work” states have made appreciable economic gains on the “pro-labor” states.

__________________________

Previous posts in this series have included:

Part 1: Population Growth and Movement: http://academeblog.org/2013/04/03/2666/

Part 2: Immigration: http://academeblog.org/2013/04/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-2/

Part 3: Unemployment Rates, by State: http://academeblog.org/2013/04/30/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-3/

Part 4: Historic Highs and Lows in Unemployment, by State: http://academeblog.org/2013/05/05/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-4/

Part 5: Employment in Manufacturing: http://academeblog.org/2013/05/10/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-5/

Part 6: Loss of Employment in Manufacturing, before and during the Great Recession: http://academeblog.org/2013/07/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-6/

My other posts on “right to work” have included:

“Right to Work Isn’t Going Away, at Least for the Moment”: http://academeblog.org/2012/09/07/right-to-work-isnt-going-away-at-least-for-the-moment/

“Right to Work Is an Insult to Intelligence”: http://academeblog.org/2012/12/11/right-to-work-is-an-insult-to-intelligence/

“Right to Work Is an Insult to Intelligence, Addendum”: http://academeblog.org/2012/12/12/right-to-work-is-an-insult-to-intelligence-addendum/

“Right to Work Introduced in the Ohio House”: http://academeblog.org/2013/05/01/right-to-work-bills-introduced-in-ohio-house/

2 responses

  1. Pingback: “Right to Work,” by the Numbers: Part 8: GDP in Urban and Rural America | Academe Blog

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