April 6, 2015
Frank Manzo IV, Policy Director
Illinois Economic Polict Institute (ILEPI)
Efforts to create local “right-to-work” zones would have negative impacts on workers and the economy in Illinois, according to a new report released today by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The report, The Impact of Local “Right-to-Work” Zones: Predicting Outcomes for Workers, the Economy and Tax Revenues in Illinois (PDF), investigates the economic and policy impacts of adopting local “right-to-work” zones in Illinois, testing claims made by proponents of the ordinances. The report finds that worker incomes are lower in economies with right-to-work laws and that employment effects are inconclusive. For instance, average worker wages are $2.90 per hour (13 percent) higher in Illinois than in right-to-work Indiana. At the same time, the unemployment rate in eastern Illinois counties is lower than in right-to-work counties across the Indiana border in December 2014.