Our View: Telling stats

Posted: December 13, 2012

With so many statistics — many compiled in Michigan, no less, at the Mackinac Center — clearly demonstrating the baldness of their falsehoods, we’re not sure what President Obama and Teamsters chief Jimmy Hoffa were trying to accomplish this week. Other than gin up the masses, that is.

The basic contention of these not-so-strange bedfellows — that supporting right-to-work laws amounts to voting for “the right to work for less money.” Funny, but that’s not what those statistics indicate.

As Mackinac pointed out, employing data gleaned from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics, private-sector, inflation-adjusted employee compensation in right-to-work states increased by 12 percent in the last decade compared with just 3 percent over the same period in states mandating a “closed” shop.

What’s more, unemployment right now in right-to-work states stands at 6.9 percent, nearly a point below the national standard. And in closed-shop states? That number is 8.7 percent, a full point above the national rate. And need we reiterate that as Indiana, a freshly minted right-to-work state, was adding 43,300 jobs this past year, Michigan was shedding 7,300?

That, hopefully, is about to change. On Wednesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Legislature’s new right-to-work bills into law.