Published by Frank Manzo IV, MPP
APRIL 3, 2017
Recent “right-to-work” laws have had negative consequences for many workers in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute.
The analysis focuses on labor markets in six Midwest states from 2010 through 2016. Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin all enacted “right-to-work” (RTW) laws during this period, providing a regional experiment on the effects of the laws. Three neighboring states- Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio- serve as a comparison group because they did not have RTW laws at the beginning of the time frame and still do not have RTW today.
As of 2016, there were significant differences between the two groups of states. Notably, workers in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin earned 8% less per hour on average than their counterparts in Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio.