A Merry, Merry Month for RTW Jobs

Since January 2015, the Foundation has tracked 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.”

In May, of 13,507 projected jobs, 11,096 — 82.1 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:

Once again, Missouri deserves special attention. It accounted for a whopping 33.2 percent of all jobs to be created in non-RTW states. But the Show-Me State passed a RTW law earlier this year, with an effective date of August 28th. When September’s data are compiled, and Missouri begins to be counted as RTW, the labor-freedom advantage in employment growth is likely to spike even higher.

As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:

* Seventeen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Just two announcements went the other way.

* RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment, too. Seventeen projects are headed to RTW states, with four to occur in non-RTW states.

Marquee RTW investments included:

* Nokian Tyres picked Tennessee for a 400-employee factory

* James Hardie Building Products will create 205 jobs at a new plant for “fiber-cement building products” in Alabama

* Constant Aviation, “a full-service maintenance, repair, and overhaul operation with a nationwide network,” will hire 200 workers to operate a “state-of-the-art” facility in Arizona

Methodological specifics:

* 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 from additional sources.

* If no job figure could be found anywhere, the project was not counted, whether it was a RTW or non-RTW state.

* Non-border-crossing relocations were not counted, border-crossing relocations were.