Leaves Falling, RTW Jobs Rising

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 October, of 19,786 projected jobs, 14,428 — 72.9 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:

As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:

* Eighteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Just one went the other way.

* RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment, too. Twenty-one projects are headed to RTW states, with eight to occur in non-RTW states.

* Six greenfield investments were announced in RTW states, with just one in a non-RTW state.

Marquee RTW investments included:

* BlackRock, “an asset management firm and a technology solutions provider,” picked Georgia for its “Innovation Hub” (1,000 jobs)

* Pitney Bowes “announced the opening of its new 450,000 square foot Fulfillment, Delivery and Returns Super Center” in Indiana (300 jobs)

* Lonza opened “the world’s largest dedicated cell and-gene-therapy Center of Excellence” in Texas (200 jobs)

* Caterpillar chose to “locate a casting facility” in South Carolina (85 jobs)

* Israel-based drone startup Airobotics “launched its North American headquarters” in Arizona (80 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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