Dear State and Local Building Trades Leaders:

The Economic Policy Institute released two reports today on so-called “right to work”.  The first, “Does ‘Right-to-Work’ Create Jobs?  Answers from Oklahoma,” which can be found here,  was written by Gordon Lafer and Sylvia Allegretto, and assesses the impact of right to work in Oklahoma on job creation.  The authors find that “right to work” does not increase employment growth in states, and that the case of Oklahoma – closest in time to the conditions facing those states now considering such legislation – is particularly discouraging regarding the law’s ability to spur job growth.  Since the law passed in 2001, manufacturing employment and relocations into the state reversed their climb and began to fall, precisely the opposite of what right-to work advocates promised.

For those states looking beyond traditional or low wage manufacturing jobs – whether to higher-tech manufacturing, to “knowledge” sector jobs, or to service industries dependent on consumer spending in the local economy – there is reason to believe that right-to-work laws may actually harm a state’s economic prospects.”

The second report , “What’s Wrong with ‘Right-to-Work’:  Chamber’s Numbers Don’t Add Up”, which can be found here and was written by Gordon Lafer,  critiques a report released by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce that was supportive of “right to work” legislation.


Tom Owens
Director of Marketing & Communications