When I was on a TV call-in discussion show in December, one caller asked if it would help employment in Michigan if Michigan were to become a right-to-work state. I answered that no, it wouldn’t since the evidence indicates that wages are lower in right-to-work states and that home-grown entrepreneurship in fast growing, technology oriented businesses over the long-term is lower (although there are sporadic exceptions).
Now, looking at the latest state-by-state unemployment rates (see Calculated Risk and here), I think we can also dispense with the idea that right-to-work laws with the accompanying lower wages help protect against job loss. Of the eleven states with the highest unemployment rates, 7 are right-to-work states. Since their are only 22 right-to-work states to begin with, that’s a heavy showing in the high-unemployment end of the range.