The “right-to-work” states are indicated in red, and the pro-labor states in white:
Compare that map with this map indicating the state unemployment rates reported on December 18, 2015:
In the Ohio House, legislation has been introduced to impose “right-to-work” restrictions on private-sector unions, with the primary argument for the measure being the now very tired assertion that pro-labor states cannot compete economically with “right-to-work” states—that pro-labor states are at a decided disadvantage in attracting job-creating companies.
A comparison of these two maps provides no support for those claims.
Such a comparison also does not support the assertion that Ohio cannot compete with adjacent states that have recently passed “right-to-work” legislation: Indiana and Wisconsin are doing only very marginally better in terms of employment and Michigan is doing worse.
Moreover, look at the job-creation statistics that have just been reported:
Table D. States with statistically significant employment changes from November 2014 to November 2015, seasonally adjusted:
Note that California has created more than twice the number of new jobs as Texas, where the numbers are much closer to New York’s. That the so-called “Texas miracle” is clearly very dependent on oil and gas production, rather than on other industries that have been more prominent in the “Rust Belt” is also evident in the fact that the only state reporting lost jobs is North Dakota.
And, again, these numbers do not support an argument that Ohio is at any competitive disadvantage with Indiana, Michigan, or Wisconsin.
Previous posts in this series have included:
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 1: Population Growth and Movement: https://academeblog.org/2013/04/03/2666/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 2: Immigration: https://academeblog.org/2013/04/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-2/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 3: Unemployment Rates, by State: https://academeblog.org/2013/04/30/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-3/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 4: Historic Highs and Lows in Unemployment, by State: https://academeblog.org/2013/05/05/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-4/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 5: Employment in Manufacturing: https://academeblog.org/2013/05/10/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-5/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 6: Loss of Employment in Manufacturing, before and during the Great Recession: https://academeblog.org/2013/07/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-6/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 7: GDP by State and GDP per Capita by State: https://academeblog.org/2013/12/16/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-gdp-by-state-and-gdp-per-capita-by-state/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 8: GDP in Urban and Rural Areas: https://academeblog.org/2014/02/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-8-gdp-in-urban-and-rural-america/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 9: Previously Uninsured Americans Who Now Receive Health Insurance through the Federal Exchanges Established under the Affordable Care Act: https://academeblog.org/2015/06/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-9-previously-uninsured-americans-who-now-receive-health-insurance-through-the-federal-exchanges-established-under-the-affordable-care-act/
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 10: Unemployment Rates in August 2015: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/26/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-10-unemployment-rates-in-august-2015/
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 11: Adult Obesity Rates: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/26/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-11-adult-obesity-rates/