Vincent Vernuccio
Boeing celebrated the completion of its final assembly plant for the Dreamliner 787 aircraft in North Charleston, South Carolina, today. Boeing’s $1-billion investment and the thousands of jobs created in South Carolina prove one thing: Right to work laws attract businesses and help local economies.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration is trying to stop that from happening. The Boeing plant’s opening comes amidst the controversy spawned by the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) complaint against the aircraft manufacturer. On April 20, the NLRB claimed that Boeing had violated federal labor law by building the Dreamliner in South Carolina, which is a right-to-work state, instead of at its facility in Washington State, which is not.

The NLRB’s complaint is in fact a back-handed compliment to right-to-work laws, because it is based on the assumption that that right-to-work laws help attract businesses. The preponderance of the evidence favors that position.

As Arthur B. Laffer and Stephen Moore recently noted in the Wall Street Journal, from 2000 to 2009 right-to-work states “grew faster in nearly every respect than their union-shop counterparts: 54.6% versus 41.1% in gross state product, 53.3% versus 40.6% in personal income, 11.9% versus 6.1% in population, and 4.1% versus -0.6% in payrolls.”

A recent analysis by the office of Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) shows that right-to-work states created 1.3 million more jobs in the private sector, had 3.5 percent faster income growth, and 46 percent higher business growth than forced union states between 1993 and 2009.

And, according to a recent National Right to Work Committee analysis of Department of Labor data, over the past 10 years, the top five states in creating new jobs are right-to-work states, while the bottom five are forced unionism states. Workers in right-to-work states also have more disposable income than those in forced unionism states.


Vincent Vernuccio

F. Vincent Vernuccio is Labor Policy Counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.