This week, new television commercials and the complementary website RightToWorkHurts.com were rolled out, parlaying just some of the mounting research that Right to Work hurts workers and economic growth into digestible, easy-to-understand multimedia.
A university study conducted by researchers at the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, compared Right to Work states for which there is available data—Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin—to three Midwest states that remained collective-bargaining states—Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio—from January 2010 through December 2016.
What the study found:
As of 2016, there were significant differences between the two groups of states:
• Workers in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin earned 8.0 percent less per hour on average than their counterparts in Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio. The median worker earned 5.9 percent less.
• The union membership rate was 11.5 percent in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin compared to 13.7 percent in Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio.
• The unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, marginally lower than the 5.1 percent rate in Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio.
On average, RTW legislation has statistically reduced the hourly wages of:
• Construction and extraction workers by 5.9 percent.
• Workers in service occupations, including police officers and firefighters, by 3.1 percent.
• Workers in office and administrative support roles by 2.7 percent.
• Employees in retail and business sales by 2.4 percent.
• Professional, educational, and health workers by 1.9 percent.
In Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the introduction of RTW laws has statistically reduced the unionization rate by 2.1 percentage points on average and lowered real hourly wages by a total of 2.6 percent on average.