Marching Forward to a RTW Future

The 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.”

In March, of 16,740 projected jobs, 14,475 — 86.5 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:


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

RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment, too. Fifteen projects are headed to RTW states, with zero to occur in non-RTW states.

Marquee RTW wins included a “global operations center” for California-based PayPal in North Carolina (400 jobs), the decision by Orbital ATK to expand its factory that builds “cutting-edge satellites for a variety of customers both domestic and international” in Arizona (155 jobs), and Amazon’s choice of Kansas for a “state-of-the-art fulfillment center” (1,000 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.

* Intrastate relocations were not counted, interstate relocations were.