The Rio Grande Foundation is tracking announcements of expansions, relocations, and greenfield investments published on Area Development‘s website. Founded in 1965, the publication “is considered the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation. … Area Development is published quarterly and has 60,000 mailed copies.” In an explanation to the Foundation, its editor wrote that items for Area Development’s announcements listing are “culled from RSS feeds and press releases that are emailed to us from various sources, including economic development organizations, PR agencies, businesses, etc. We usually highlight ones that represent large numbers of new jobs and/or investment in industrial projects.”
Last month, of 23,750 projected jobs, 19,772 — 83.3 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
Sixteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Just four announcements went the other way.
Foreign direct investment was also highly skewed. Twenty-seven projects are headed to RTW states, but only three are to to occur in non-RTW states.
Marquee RTW wins included the decision by Illinois-Based Hoist Liftruck Mfg., Inc. to add 500 workers to its facility across the border in Indiana, Chinese aerospace firm HAECO’s expansion of its North Carolina workforce by 127 jobs, and Johnson & Johnson’s choice of Florida for a shared-services headquarters to “handle work for its operating companies in the areas of finance, human resources, information technology and procurement.” For the eco-left, a bitterly ironic investment was announced by SolarCity. The California-based company picked Utah for a huge facility to house “accounting, finance, human resources, legal, marketing and sales support.”
Sadly, as is usually the case, no investments were announced for New Mexico.
* All job estimates — “up to,” “as many as,” “about” — were taken at face value, for RTW and non-RTW states alike.
* If an announcement did not make an employment projection, efforts were made to obtain an estimate from newspaper articles and/or press releases by elected officials and economic-development bureaucracies.
* If no job figure could be found anywhere, the project was not counted, whether it was a RTW or non-RTW state.
* Intrastate relocations were not counted, interstate relocations were.