Cold Comfort for Compulsory Unionism

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 November, of 15,971 projected jobs, 10,499 — 66.1 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:

While RTW states won the race for the 35th straight month, the result was uncharacteristically strong for non-RTW states. But once again, Amazon played a significant role. Over a quarter of the jobs to be created in the compulsory-unionism zone will be at the online retailer’s new facility in Maryland.

As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:

* Fifteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Four went the other way.

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

Marquee RTW investments included:

* Mission Foods, a “major manufacturer of tortillas and tortilla-related products,” built a new plant in Texas, creating “1,000 direct jobs.”

* Canada’s New Flyer Industries “will create up to 550 full-time jobs as it invests $40 million to lease and upgrade a facility for bus parts fabrication” in Kentucky.

* Germany-based automotive supplier Bocar invested $115 million in a new plant Alabama, and “plans to create more than 300 jobs.”

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.

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