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 June, of 23,090 projected jobs, 16,442 — 71.2 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
As is increasingly the case, Amazon’s massive infrastructure investments complicated the data. Fully 72.2 percent of the jobs to be created in non-RTW states will be located at facilities owned by the online mega-retailer. While our research has consistently shown superior overall job creation in RTW states, with victories for 30 straight months, it’s clear that Amazon bucks the trend. Even California and Connecticut, widely considered national leaders in anti-business policy, landed investments last month. Taking Amazon out the equation for both types of states, the RTW job-creation share would have been 86.8 percent in June.
As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:
* Eighteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Just two — both in Missouri, which becomes RTW in late August — went the other way.
* RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment, too. Twenty-seven projects are headed to RTW states, with Missouri claiming the only announcement for non-RTW states.
Marquee RTW investments included:
* GM picked Texas for a “new supplier park to support future vehicle production,” planning to hire 850 employees, 600 of which will replace workers based overseas.
* BeijingWest Industries, “a premier chassis supplier that designs and manufactures brake and suspension systems for the global automotive market,” chose Indiana for a 441-employee factory, its “first manufacturing site in the United States.”
* Blue Origin, building a rocket engine to “end the nation’s dependence on Russia for access to space for critical national security space systems,” will hire 342 employees in Alabama to staff “a state-of-the art production facility.”
* Boston Consulting Group picked Georgia to locate 200 “highly skilled positions in creative visual services, finance, client and business support, legal and information technology, and other areas.”
* 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.