Right-to-Work States Gained Jobs During COVID-19, Big Losses Elsewhere in US, New Data Show

By Mark Tapscott
Mark Tapscott
Mark Tapscott
Congressional Correspondent
Congressional Correspondent for The Epoch Times.
May 4, 2022 Updated: May 4, 2022

A total of 27 states with right-to-work (RTW) laws on their books saw a significant increase in household employment during the CCP Virus-induced pandemic, while the 23 states without such statutes saw huge losses, according to the most recent data from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

There were 78.3 million employed individuals in the RTW states in February 2020, when the economic impact of the virus that’s also known as novel coronavirus, first began to be felt across the nation.

As of March, the total number of employed individuals in the 27 states had climbed to 79.2 million, an increase of 1.2 percent, according to an analysis that was made available to The Epoch Times by National Right to Work Committee (NRTWC) researcher Stanley Greer.

By contrast, in the non-RTW states, in February 2020, there was a total of just more than 80 million employed individuals; but by March, that total fell to 78.6 million, for a decline of 1.75 percent (figures are rounded for reporting purposes).

Overall, seven of the top 10 states in terms of employed individuals are RTW states, led by Utah, which showed a 5.94 percent increase, followed by Idaho in third with a 4.96 percent increase, Arizona in fifth with a 3.89 percent increase, South Dakota in sixth with a 3.43 percent increase, Texas in seventh with a 2.84 percent increase, South Carolina in eighth with a 2.74 percent increase, and Oklahoma in ninth with a 2.71 percent increase.

Topping the non-RTW states was Oregon, which was second overall with a 4.99 percent increase, followed by Montana in fourth with a 4.03 percent increase, and Delaware in 10th with a 2.41 percent increase.

At the other end of the data, non-RTW states are seven of the bottom 10, including Vermont at 50th with a 5.69 percent decrease, New York at 49th with a 5.59 percent decrease, and Maryland in 48th with a 5.21 percent decrease. The worst RTW state in the bottom 10 is Nevada with a 4.98 percent decrease.

Declaring that the data show that “freedom works,” NRTWC President Mark Mix told The Epoch Times that RTW “states have a proven track record of job creation, so it’s no surprise that their post-pandemic economic recovery has been the strongest. In fact, while forced-unionism states still need to regain over a million jobs just to reach their pre-pandemic levels, Right to Work states have added 880,000 new jobs since February 2020.”

Mix pointed to the protection of “workers’ freedom to choose whether they want to join and pay dues to a union” as a key to how the RTW states make themselves far more attractive places to work and do business without spending a dime of taxpayer money.

He noted that “voters in the 23 states that have yet to pass Right to Work laws should look at these latest jobs numbers and ask themselves ‘is this the best we can do?'”

The data showing increased employment in RTW states and employment losses in the other states could add impetus to the long-running effort led by Mix and the NRTWC to pass a national law protecting the right of the individual worker to keep his or her job without paying compulsory union dues as a condition of employment.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) told The Epoch Times, “We can clearly see firsthand the job creation that occurs in right-to-work states, and I am grateful to lead on this issue as the sponsor of the National Right to Work Act in Congress, which would erase automatic-dues clauses in federal statute.”

Wilson’s proposal currently has 102 co-sponsors, all of whom are Republicans.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is the chief sponsor of the companion measure in the Senate. Paul said last year, when he and Wilson first introduced their proposal in the 117th Congress, that “more than eight in 10 Americans say workers should be free to join a union if they want to, but no one should be forced to join a union.”

He noted that federal employees already have the right to work guaranteed to them by a Supreme Court decision.

“The way the law is written today, millions of private-sector workers can be forced to surrender part of every paycheck to a labor union as a condition of employment,” Paul said. “The Supreme Court has already ruled that federal employees have the right to work under federal law, and my bill makes sure that employees of private businesses—airlines, railroads, and so forth—will get the same protections.”

Mark Tapscott
Congressional Correspondent
Congressional Correspondent for The Epoch Times.