“Healthy workers are more productive,” Raimondo said in a Zoom interview last week after accompanying President Joe Biden to the construction site of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s new computer chip factory in Phoenix. Told. So I think states with better access to health care can make their workforces more productive. “
Raimondo is a former venture capitalist who was elected and re-elected as the first female governor in her native state of Rhode Island. She has fixed a crumbling pension system, repaired a crumbling transportation infrastructure, forgiven student loan debt, and tripled the population. We ensure that all children attend kindergarten all day long. She recruited over 30 of her companies in Rhode Island. The unemployment rate plummeted to her 3.4%. That’s 3.1 points below her 30-year average and almost half the unemployment rate when she took office in 2015.
“We have to do more than deregulation and tax cuts to drive growth and attract business,” she said. “We also need quality living, quality healthcare, quality public schools, a well-trained workforce, and places where people want to live.”
Raimond, a 51-year-old economist and Rhodes Scholar with degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Yale, signed the Reproductive Privacy Act in 2019 to protect abortion rights in anticipation of Supreme Court repeal. added another bulwark to the state’s competitiveness. Roe v. Wade case. Looking at the data showing publicly traded companies in her 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, she is “not at all surprised.” – Large and small businesses alike are less diverse, less profitable and less productive than the U.S. average, and underperform the 10 states that expanded access to abortion on these same measures – Washington , Oregon, California, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania – since 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Indeed, there are many determinants beyond reproductive rights that explain why companies in some states outperform their peers in others. “The best performing companies are those that are able to attract, hire, retain and develop top talent,” he said. “That means both men and women,” especially women, “will want to work for companies and states that have full access to health care, including reproductive health care for her.”
The Supreme Court ruling authorizing abortion bans proved so unpopular that Kansas voters overwhelmingly (59%-41%) voted for the proposed constitutional amendment in August. refused. state constitution. Similar referendums were defeated on Election Day in Kentucky and Montana last month, with Americans across the country voting in favor of reproductive freedom. “The question wasn’t whether you approved the abortion, but who controlled decisions about women’s health,” she told the Kansas City Star. If you want to, you voted yes, and if you believe women make their own decisions, you will vote against them.”
The U.S. economy is already suffering financially in states that criminalize abortion. Since April 2020, 10 reproductive freedom states have seen an average 18.3% increase in nonfarm payrolls as Covid-19 labor markets began to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression Did. According to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 11 states that criminalize abortion lag behind with 15.1% job growth. Since the beginning of 2022, employment has risen 2.8% in the 10 states that guarantee abortion rights, well above the national 2.5% and easily above the 2.3% in the 11 states that have criminalized reproductive rights. Women’s labor force participation rate in states that criminalize abortion is 56%, her 9.5 percentage points lower than men, and her 60% and her 9.3 percentage points in 10 states that protect reproductive freedom. increase.
American corporations are already showing a decline in diversity where abortion is criminalized. Of the 500 publicly traded companies with a stock market value of at least $200 million based in 11 states where abortion is illegal, only 20% of board members, 27% of managers and 35% of employees are women. . 1,600 companies based in the 10 states where abortion is legal disclose 24%, 31%, and 41%. State companies that guarantee reproductive freedom are more diverse than the entire group of Russell 3000 Index companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Companies based in states with guaranteed reproductive freedom outperform the Russell 3000 and peers in 11 states where abortion is a crime, with revenues averaging 1% above estimates over the past three years. increase. Results averaged 74% below estimates. Earnings for members across the index were 9% below estimates. According to data compiled by Russell 3000 companies, he reported $155 million, while companies in abortion-free states made him $91 million for the same number of workers. Bloomberg. Productivity increased by 485% for companies in Pro-Choice states compared to 380% for Russell 3000, proving to outperform 190% companies in states where abortion is illegal.
“If I were still governor, I would see this data as a huge opportunity,” said Raimondo. “I will go to these states on the highest peaks. [illegal abortion] I will list those companies in my state and actively recruit them. Looking at current inflation, if it’s this stubbornly tight labor market that continues to cause inflation, it’s about enabling women to work at their maximum productivity levels. An increase in the labor force will reduce inflation. It’s an economic fact. “
Details from Bloomberg Opinion:
• Where Abortions Will Happen in the 2024 Vote: Julianna Goldman
• Republicans were wrong about abortion: Sarah Greene Carmichael
• Abortion may not be a Democrat win issue: Ramesh Ponnuru
–With help from Shinpei and Daniela Goncalves.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
Matthew A. Winkler, Editor Emeritus of Bloomberg News, writes about the market.
More articles like this can be found at bloomberg.com/opinion.