Saturday, September 26, 2015

Right-to-Work States Lead Midwest Job Creation

Over the last three years, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin enacted Right-to-Work laws, and today, these three states lead the Midwest in job creation.  At 2.7%, Michigan is adding jobs at a rate faster than the national average, and Metro Detroit employment is growing at nearly double the rate of Metro Chicago.

While it's obviously not clear that all the gains in these states are due to the RTW laws, the forced union state in the middle, Illinois, is lagging severely.  Chicago's job count has grown at a below average 1.5% over the last year, but the rest of the state has actually lost jobs in spite of an improving national economy that's added over 2 million jobs.   The state is fairly close to being in a jobs recession, and Caterpillar's recent layoff announcement won't help.

Milwaukee isn't adding jobs at much faster pace than Chicago, but the rest of Wisconsin is, from Green Bay to Madison to Appleton.   Old industrial Indiana cities like Evansville, Fort Wayne, and Muncie are all growing employment at faster than the national average.   

Right-to-Work is not a guarantee of success.  Virginia's growing its job count at a weak 1.4%, due to its excessive dependence on military spending.   RTW North Dakota has lost jobs over the last 12 months due to falling oil prices.  Ohio's hanging in there in spite of its new RTW neighbors, and Toledo is benefitting from its proximity from Detroit's new found growth.   However, Ohio's 1.6% job growth rate is more than a point lower than the rate on the other side of its northern and western borders, where workers now enjoy freedom from forced union dues payments.   

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