Opportunity Ohio Finds Right-to-Work States Dominate the Recovery, Ohio Not Among Them


Matt Mayer, president of the the pro-growth advocates Opportunity Ohio, crunched the numbers and graphed the results of private sector job growth in all the states and the District of Columbia. The news for Ohio, a compulsory union state, is that it continues to lag behind those states that have embraced worker freedom.

“See racked & stacked comparison of private sector job growth from 1990 to today in all 50 states & DC segmented by right-to-work versus forced unionization status…easy to conclude which status is better for workers,” Mayer tweeted.

A view of the complete graph and its explanation revealed, “Right-to-Work states have increased their employment totals far better than Forced-Unionization states, holding seven of the top 10 spots in employment growth since 1990. By contrast, Forced-Unionization states hold nine of the 10 worst-performing positions, the exception being Michigan which became a Right-to-Work state in 2012.”

Mayer also explained a key statistic, “Among the 20 worst performers, only three states are long-time Right-to-Work states. The other 17 are either long-time Forced Unionization states or states that became Right-to-Work only in the past five years.”

Opportunity Ohio is not the only organization that has exposed Ohio’s soft, pro-union, underbelly. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) ranks the states in their annual “Rich States, Poor States” research. Ohio has consistently been ranked near the middle or top half of the states in “Economic Outlook,” but has yet to break out of the bottom half for actual “Economic Performance.”

ALEC gives Ohio poor grades in the following areas:

  • top marginal personal income tax rate
  • personal income tax progressivity
  • sales tax burden, and
  • Right-to-Work state?

The answer to the last question is “no” and helped earn Ohio bottom marks.

Mayer told The Ohio Star, “The longitudinal data going back to 1990 for all 50 states is crystal clear that right-to-work creates the environment for robust private sector job growth. In stark contrast, forced unionization states severely lag behind, producing half as much net percentage job growth as right-to-work states.”

He continued, “If Ohio wants to jumpstart its private sector, it will need to pass right-to-work to be competitive with surrounding states and the strongest performing states in the south and west.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].






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