New Mexico’s local lawmakers will soon vote whether to enact right-to-work in their counties. In case they need another reason to vote YES, they should look no further than recent employment data from the Pew Center.
New Mexico’s employment has decreased by 7 percent since 2007—more than any other state. Meanwhile, two right-to-work states, Michigan and Wisconsin, top the chart in employment gains.
According to Paul Gessing, President of the Rio Grande Foundation, New Mexico’s declining employment is an especially bad sign because our employment rate was never as high as other states who experienced similar drops. On the flip side, the Pew data is especially useful in analyzing the success of common-sense right-to-work laws.
The top two states in employment gains (Michigan and Wisconsin) both enacted “right to work” laws between 2007 and 2017. Another top-performing state (Indiana) did so as well. These are THE 3 states to adopt “right to work” with enough time to make a difference in the economic data during the time period in question. Clearly, the enactment of “right to work” laws is strongly associated with increasing rates of employment.
Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana’s employment levels are evidence that their right-to-work laws played an important part in increasing job opportunities and maintaining a strong workforce.
These observations are consistent with other job-growth trends. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that right-to-work states enjoyed twice the job growth rate of non-right-to-work states between 1990 and 2014.
Right-to-work laws help job growth by freeing employers and employees to interact without interference from a union. Forced-union states like New Mexico do their workers a disservice by letting unions force employers to fire non-union employees. It’s no wonder economic outlook and employment are higher in states where unions can’t coerce non-union workers out of their jobs.
Enacting right-to-work across the Land of Enchantment would mean higher employment and job security for New Mexicans.