Press Releases | Economic Growth

News from EPI Chamber of Commerce analysis on worker protections and unemployment flawed

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

On March 2, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report, The Impact of State Employment Policies on Job Growth: A 50-State Review, that claims to find a correlation between state-level pro-worker regulations and high unemployment.  The report gives each state a score on its “employment regulation index (ERI).”  In A bad answer to the wrong question, Economic Policy Institute economist Josh Bivens gives a brief overview of the faulty analysis that underlies the Chamber report.  In Why do some states have higher unemployment rates?, Bivens discusses the problems in the Chamber report in more detail, explaining that the report’s authors use a flawed statistical model to calculate ERI scores and that the ERI does not withstand standard economic “robustness tests.”