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Business group study calls for employment regulation cuts


MAY 2011 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Business group study calls for employment regulation cuts


REGION, April 29th- According to a study released by the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC, states in the nation could create jobs by cutting safety programs that protect employees at work and cut government regulations regarding worker rights on the job.

The organization, which is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, released a study that was conducted by Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Navigant Economics that revealed that states with the “largest burden of labor and employment regulation are sacrificing opportunities to reduce their employment rate and generate new business startups.”

The United States Chamber of Commerence, financed the study, and found if each state were to improve their regulatory climates to the level discussed in the report, the effect would be equivalent to a one-time boost of 746,462 net new jobs nationwide. The rate of new business formation would increase by 12 percent resulting in the creation of 51,590 new firms nationally each year. Reducing the “burden of labor and employment regulation in the states could act as a free shot of economic stimulus, equal to approximately seven months of job creation at the current average rate,” stated the business group.

The study was conducted by surveying states’ labor and employment policies across six categories: the employment relationship and the cost of separation; minimum wage and living wage laws; unemployment insurance and workers compensation; wage and hour policies; collective bargaining issues; and the litigation/enforcement climate.

“Governors across the country from both parties are looking at ways to encourage economic growth in their states, and reform of state labor and employment regulations could make an important contribution to returning the United States to a more rapid-growth trajectory,” stated Lisa Richard, of the Chamber of Commerence.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett supports many of the study’s findings including making the commonwealth a right-to-work state; making changes or the eliminating of prevailing wage laws; cutting teachers salaries and benefits; and selling the unionized state liquor stores.

“Without cost to state governments or the federal government or the taxpayers, states can take steps now to improve their economic conditions and begin to prime the pump of job creation and new business formation,” added Ms. Richard.

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