Right to Work for New Mexico

David Dowd Muska writes on the advantage a Right to Work law would bring to New Mexico.

New Mexico doesn’t have a jobs problem. It has a jobs crisis.

There are many tools state policymakers can use to restore vibrant job growth, but perhaps no reform offers more promise than passage of a right-to-work (RTW) law. By ending the compulsory payment of dues to union bosses, New Mexico would send a clear signal that it’s open for business.

Says who? Site-selection experts. They consistently report that a significant portion of their clients prefer RTW states.

New research confirms the value of RTW in creating jobs. The Rio Grande Foundation examined investment announcements posted on the website of Area Development, “the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation,” between January 1st and June 30th of this year. During the period, companies declared that they would add 92,923 positions in expansions, relocations, and greenfield investments. RTW states were slated to receive 79 percent of employment — a sum, not surprisingly, far in excess of the 47 percent of private-sector jobs found in RTW states.

In total, 113 border-crossing investments were announced. Ninety-six — 85 percent — shifted from non-RTW to RTW. Job-creation followed suit. In each of the six months examined, more positions were to be created in RTW states by non-RTW-based firms than vice versa. Fourteen facilities announced journeys from non-RTW to RTW, while just three planned to go the other way. RTW states garnered 98 percent of relocation-related jobs.

In total, 132 FDI announcements were listed. Seventy-three percent were made in RTW states, which garnered 83 percent of jobs. Of the 12 nations that announced more than one FDI in the period, ten indicated a preference for RTW states.

It’s notable that high-population, non-RTW states such as California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington, and Massachusetts did not rank among the top job-creators. Also interesting were stellar performances by two Rust Belt states: Indiana (which became RTW in 2012) and Michigan (which became RTW in 2013). Of the ten states to receive the most employment, nine were RTW.