Carpe Diem

Indiana Is Now Rust Belt’s First Right-to-Work State

Percentage Change,    
2000 to 2010
 Right-to-Work
States  
 Forced Union
States 
Private Employment 10.30% 1.90%
Private Sector Compensation 11.10% 0.70%
Real GDP per Capita 9.70% 7.89%
Source: BEA
USA Today — “Indiana’s controversial right-to-work bill became Indiana’s law Wednesday. The state Senate voted 28-22 Wednesday to pass the labor union bill as thousands of protesters packed Statehouse hallways shouting their disapproval. Thousands more lined up outside waiting to get in. Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the “right to work” bill shortly thereafter without ceremony, making Indiana the 23rd state in the nation with the law.

Sen. Carlin Yoder, the Middlebury Republican who is the chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate, said for him “this bill is all about jobs.” Unions, he said, will thrive despite it. And he said he apologized for all the “issues” lawmakers had to struggle with on it, an apparent reference to the constant protests against the bill.  “But the fact is this bill is worth it for Hoosiers who desperately need jobs,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson, D-Ellettsville, disputed that, saying “there is no empirical evidence … that right to work creates one job.” “It’s a downward spiral to lower wages and fewer benefits,” she said. “Was it worth it?” she repeatedly asked, saying they had pushed a divisive bill based on “myth and anecdote” and not fact.”
MP: Some facts appear in the table above, showing the differences in some key economic variables between right-to-work states and forced unionism states in the ten-year period between 2000 and 2010 based on BEA data available here.  Here’s a summary:
1. Private employment in right-to-work states grew by 10% between 2000 and 2010, or more than five times the 1.9% private job growth in forced union states. 
2. In the period between 2000 and 2007 before the recession started, almost 8 million jobs were created in right-to-work states compared to fewer than 6 million new jobs in forced union states, even though forced union states outnumber right-to-work states 28 to 22 and have populations and labor forces that are 65% greater than right-to-work states.
3. Total private sector compensation grew more than 11% in right-to-work states in the 2000s, compared to only 0.70% in forced union states. 
4. Real per-capita GDP increased 9.7% between 2000 and 2010 in right-to-work states, compared to 7.89% in forced unionism states.

Myth and anecdote?

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