Missouri Business Headlines

As the Missouri House passes right-to-work bill, Missouri Chamber urges hard look at statistics: right-to-work does not lower wages, but does grow jobs

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The Missouri House of Representatives has passed a bill to make Missouri the 28th right-to-work state. After three hours of heated debate, the Missouri House voted 101-58 in support of House Bill 91, sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder.

“Much of the debate has centered around the inaccurate statement that right-to-work legislation lowers wages, but that is simply untrue,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “Comparing job growth in right-to-work states with non-right-to-work states over time shows that this policy does not reduce wages.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, wage growth in both right-to-work and non-right-to-work states was exactly the same during the last decade, increasing by 7.7 percent from 2005-2015.

“Show me one employer in a state that has become right-to-work that lowered wages after the legislation was enacted,” challenges Mehan. “They can’t, because it doesn’t happen.”

Right-to-work policy does bring more jobs and prosperity to states.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, right-to-work states added 8.6 percent more new jobs in the last decade (2005–2015) compared to non-right-to-work states, which grew employment by only 5 percent. During that same time, GDP in right-to-work states increased by 15.3 percent, while non-right-to-work states only grew by 11.9 percent.

“Looking across the country, Missouri’s lack of right-to-work protection has put us at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting jobs to our state. We are going to fall further behind if we continue to delay action on becoming a right-to-work state,” said Mehan. “We are optimistic about the momentum and we appreciate the Missouri House for setting the pace.”


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