Unemployment and Unions

Chris Kromm at Facing South points out something interesting about the latest job figures (emphasis in original):

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released grim new data on the nation’s job situation. Another 663,000 people were put out of work in March, pushing the national unemployment rate up from 8.1 to 8.5 percent.

The state-level data won’t come out until later this month, but the Wall Street Journal posted a useful interactive table last week on how job losses are playing out at the state level using February’s data.

The short version: Every state has seen its unemployment go up since the recession started (dated at late 2007), but some states have seen their jobless rate zoom up faster than others.

Many of the states feeling the most pain are in the South: Using the February numbers, five of the 10 states with the biggest growth in unemployment are in the South[.]

Why is that? Well, Chris does not venture an opinion on what the reason is. But he is clear about what the reason is not:

One interesting point about those high unemployment numbers in the South: They certainly appear to disprove the argument, put forward by opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act, that unions cause higher unemployment.

The Carolinas — which have among the lowest union density rates in the country — have also seen some of the largest growth in joblessnes.

This suggests that, as many other studies have found, unemployment rises and falls due to a vast array of changes in the economy — and can’t be pinned on unions.

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