Outdated Data in U.S. Chamber Employment Policy Study

AWB’s Olympia Business Watch notes that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a study on state employment policies and job growth.  In considering the states’ employment policies, the Chamber looked at employment relationships/costs of separation, minimum wage and living wage laws, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, wage and hour policies, collective bargaining, and litigation/enforcement climate.

Washington ranks among the bottom fifteen states.  And that’s using outdated information.

First, the Chamber cites the 2009 number for private-sector union membership.  In 2010, private-sector union membership in WA dropped to 10.7 percent (from 12.6 percent). The Chamber did use the 2010 number for public-sector unionization (56.8 percent).

On workers’ comp, the Chamber used data from the National Academy of Social Insurance (for benefits information) and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (for premium costs), but both data sets have been updated.  The newest numbers from NASI show that WA’s benefits per $100 of covered wages are $1.69, up from $1.56.  Additionally, in the 2010 Oregon study, the costs of WA’s system relative to other states increased significantly (from 38th to 26th).  (For more information on the Oregon study, see this brief.)