New Year, Same Story for the Right to Work

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 January, of 15,078 projected jobs, 13,185 — 87.4 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:

Throughout more than three years of tracking, RTW states have won every monthly match-up, consistently garnering between 70 percent and 90 percent of the jobs to be created.

As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:

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

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

* Two relocations will be made from non-RTW to RTW states, with none moving in the other direction.

In this new year, the Foundation has added greenfield announcements to our analysis. In that sub-metric, RTW prevailed, 12-2.

Marquee RTW investments included:

* Mazda and Toyota chose Alabama for a billion-dollar factory with “the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually, with production split evenly between two lines for each company” (4,000 jobs)

* From a list of nine states, Nikola Motor Company picked Arizona to locate its “hydrogen-electric semi-truck manufacturing headquarters facility” (2,000 jobs)

* Spain’s Grupo Antolin, a “designer and manufacturer of components for the automotive industry,” plans to “invest $50 million to launch new operations in … South Carolina” (150 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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5 Replies to “New Year, Same Story for the Right to Work”

  1. What was the Crime Rate in the RTW States compared to NM? The Graduation Rate? Sorry, but Job Growth is far more complex than the single issue of RTW. You undermine your own credibility by trying to sell it as as the singular solution because no one, not even conservatives believe this

    1. The Rio Grande Foundation has never claimed that right to work is “the singular solution.” Perhaps you’re unaware of our extensive work in other areas, including criminal justice, tax reform, school choice, deregulation, infrastructure/transportation, and healthcare. Click around on our website — you’ll learn a lot.

      You “undermine your own credibility” when you claim that we assert that right to work is “the singular solution” to New Mexico’s economic woes. We have never done so.

      As for our Area Development research, it does have its limitations, but we continue to examine the data, and will be looking at other factors, including crime, energy costs, cost of living/business, etc. But to this point, nothing we have found contradicts the evidence that “there is a causal positive relationship between the presence of a Right to Work law and economic growth.”

  2. Using the States in your marquee RTW Investments compared to….
    New Mexico has 408.9 car thefts per 100,000
    Alabama has 212.7 car thefts per 100,000
    Arizona 245.8 car thefts per 100,000
    South Carolina has 264.9 car thefts per 100,000

    The conclusion is a lower car theft rates attract business and jobs

    FBI Table 4, Crime in the United States
    by Region, Geographic Division, and State, 2014–2015

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