Press Releases | Unions and Labor Standards

News from EPI ‘Right-to-Work’: Wrong for New Hampshire

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

Economically-stressed New Hampshire, like several other states, is on the precipice of falling for false job-creation promises as it considers the adoption of so-called “right-to-work” (RTW) laws.  To expose these false promises, economist Gordon Lafer’s study, released today, shines a light on the deceptive methodology used to derive these claims and the harm the laws could have on New Hampshire’s economy.  In ‘Right-to-Work’: Wrong for New Hampshire, Lafer not only deflates the false RTW promises, he reveals how the state already has a higher median household income and a lower poverty rate than all 22 states with existing RTW laws, and how the state outperforms three-quarters of RTW states when it comes to the growth of new companies opening per 1,000 workers. 

This new study is the latest Economic Policy Institute paper on the economic harm RTW laws could inflict on state economies and the workers within those states.  Other studies include:

•             Does “Right-to-Work” Create Jobs? Answers from Oklahoma by Gordon Lafer and Sylvia Allegretto, which examines the economic consequences of enacting RTW laws and uses Oklahoma as a case study; while most RTW laws have been in place for three decades or more, Oklahoma’s law was enacted in 2001;

•             In a related piece, What’s wrong with “right-to-work”: Chamber’s numbers don’t add up, Dr. Lafer critiques a report the Indiana Chamber of Commerce released last month that argues in favor of passage of a RTW law in Indiana. Dr. Lafer explains why the report is misleading and how the analysis that underpins its conclusions is faulty; and

•             EPI economists Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz control for demographic and socioeconomic variables in The Compensation Penalty of “Right-to-Work Laws” and find that wages for both union and nonunion workers are lower in states with right-to-work (RTW) laws than in those without.

Dr. Lafer is testifying before the Commerce Committee in the New Hampshire Senate today at 9:00 a.m. in the Representative’s Hall in the State House.