Right to Work
Right-to-work laws guarantee that no person applying for a job can be forced, as a condition of gaining employment, to join or pay dues to a labor union. Right-to-work laws have consistently demonstrated a positive effect on jobs and economic growth.
West Virginia recently became the 27th right-to-work state, and several other states are now considering becoming the 28th. Right-to-work laws have made inroads in states traditionally considered union strongholds, including Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Opponents of right-to-work laws contend they force wages down, disadvantage unions, and lower people’s standard of living. But research shows states enacting right-to-work have experienced positive economic effects across the board. A study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy found, “According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, right-to-work states showed a 42.6 percent gain in total employment from 1990 to 2011, while non-right-to-work states showed gains of only 18.8 percent.” The study also found inflation-adjusted gross personal income in right-to-work states increased 86.5 percent between 1990 and 2013, versus 51.3 percent for forced-unionization states.