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Right to Work: Updated Trends and Implications for New Hampshire

August 22, 2016
By Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire

This paper from Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire examines the extant literature regarding the economic and demographic effects of right-to-work legislation.

Since 2014, an additional two states, Wisconsin and West Virginia, have passed legislation that advances worker freedom by eliminating the requirement that employees be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. By electing to protect the freedom of workers in their states to associate freely, Wisconsin and West Virginia have increased the number of Right to Work states nationally to 26. The choices by these two states have tipped the balance nationwide towards a new majority view that is focused upon the protection of the freedom of association for employees.

This report will aim to analyze the existing literature regarding worker freedom legislation, in addition to updating some of the findings of the 2014 Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s report “Analyzing the Effects of Right to Work Legislation in New Hampshire.”

Herein, this investigation will briefly summarize some of the particularly salient points of data regarding worker freedom legislation and its impacts. Over long term periods of analysis, states that have adopted and implemented policies that promote worker freedom have seen employment grow faster than states that do not have such regimes in place, in addition to seeing faster economic recoveries, higher GDP growth and higher levels of employment in the manufacturing, mining and construction sectors.

Should New Hampshire adopt legislation that frees employees from being required to join a union or pay an agency fee as a condition of being employed, the state could expect to see employment growth and state GDP growth that would be about .5 percentage points above current projections. Critically, this would allow for additional job and wage growth that would create opportunities for the thousands of New Hampshire residents that leave the state to find employment.

Lastly, there will be preemptive rebuttals to some of the more common arguments that opponents of worker freedom legislation commonly adopt.