Right-to-Work is Right for Oregon: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Economics Benefits from Enacting a Right-to-Work Law
Cascade Policy Institute, February 2012
22 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 1, 2012
This report measures the impacts of right-to-work laws on the economy, measured by employment growth, income growth, and migration. Looking backward, it examines what would have happened to state employment and income growth had Oregon enacted right-to-work legislation in 1985, the same year as neighboring Idaho. Looking forward, the report forecasts future employment and income growth if Oregon enacts right-to-work legislation going into effect in 2012.
Looking backward, the analysis finds if the state had enacted right-to-work legislation in 1985, Oregon’s employment in 2010 would have been approximately 14 percent higher (233,000 more jobs), Oregon’s 2010 personal income would have been 10 percent higher ($14.6 billion), and Oregon’s wage and salary income would have been 13 percent higher ($9.7 billion).
Looking forward, if Oregon enacts right-to-work legislation in 2012, the empirical results indicate that the state would see a permanent boost in employment and income growth. After five years, in 2016, Oregon would have 50,000 more people working as a right-to-work state. By 2021, 110,000 more people would be working in Oregon. By 2016, the state’s personal income would be $4.1 billion higher and wage and salary income would be $2.7 billion higher. By 2021, the state’s personal income would be $10.8 billion higher and wage and salary income would be $7.0 billion higher.
Keywords: employment growth, income growth, right-to-work
JEL Classification: E24, J21, J6, J58, J38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation