How to improve unemployment at the state level

Out of curiosity I tabled the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September 2010 unemployment statistics with whether the state is a right to work state or not:

Rank State Unemployment, % Right to Work?
1 NORTH DAKOTA 3.7 Y
2 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.4 Y
3 NEBRASKA 4.6 Y
4 NEW HAMPSHIRE 5.5 N
5 VERMONT 5.8 N
6 HAWAII 6.3 N
7 KANSAS 6.6 Y
8 IOWA 6.8 Y
8 VIRGINIA 6.8 Y
8 WYOMING 6.8 Y
11 OKLAHOMA 6.9 Y
12 MINNESOTA 7 N
13 MONTANA 7.4 N
14 MARYLAND 7.5 N
14 UTAH 7.5 Y
16 MAINE 7.7 N
16 ARKANSAS 7.7 Y
18 ALASKA 7.8 N
18 WISCONSIN 7.8 N
18 LOUISIANA 7.8 Y
21 TEXAS 8.1 Y
22 COLORADO 8.2 N
22 NEW MEXICO 8.2 N
24 NEW YORK 8.3 N
25 DELAWARE 8.4 N
25 MASSACHUSETTS 8.4 N
27 ALABAMA 8.9 Y
28 PENNSYLVANIA 9 N
28 WASHINGTON 9 N
28 IDAHO 9 Y
31 CONNECTICUT 9.1 N
32 WEST VIRGINIA 9.2 N
33 MISSOURI 9.3 N
34 NEW JERSEY 9.4 N
34 TENNESSEE 9.4 Y
36 NORTH CAROLINA 9.6 Y
37 ARIZONA 9.7 Y
38 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 9.8 N
38 MISSISSIPPI 9.8 Y
40 ILLINOIS 9.9 N
41 OHIO 10 N
41 GEORGIA 10 Y
43 INDIANA 10.1 N
43 KENTUCKY 10.1 N
45 OREGON 10.6 N
46 SOUTH CAROLINA 11 Y
47 RHODE ISLAND 11.5 N
48 FLORIDA 11.9 Y
49 CALIFORNIA 12.4 N
50 MICHIGAN 13 N
51 NEVADA 14.4 N*
       
       
  Right To Work States, Average 7.95  
  Non-Right to Work, Average 9.04  

*Even though Nevada is a right to work state, Clark County is defacto Union and Clark County makes up 75% of Nevada’s population. For example, see a Casino’s Neutrality Agreement

Unemployment has affected all of the US. Some right to work states such as Florida and South Carolina are suffering, but on average, right to work states have lower unemployment than non-right to work states. It appears that a politician could improve the rate of employment of his or her state simply by making the state a right to work state.  Will this happen?  Of course not.

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