Policy: Labor

Labor Department: Union membership on the rise in right-to-work states

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Labor unions,Labor,Right to work

President Obama and his union supporters oppose right-to-work laws, but the Labor Department reports that union membership has bucked the national trend by rising in the 22 states where the legislation has passed.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that “the right-to-work states had an overall increase of 39,000 union members while non-right-to-work states lost 390,000, a 3.4 percent decrease,” as the Mackinac Center for Public Policy notes.

Right-to-work employees are effectively wealthier than their counterparts in other states because the cost of living in right-to-work states is so much lower, according to a Mackinac Center study.

“For example, Texas per-capita income was $37,098 but would have a purchasing power of $49,700 in the state of New York in 2007,” the think-tank reported last week. “New York’s per-capita income was $47,852.”

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