RTW Job-Creation Returns to Form in July

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 June, just 57.5 percent of jobs were to be created in right-to-work (RTW) states — the lowest share since we began our monitoring in January 2015. But in July, the worker-freedom advantage returned in a big way. Of 13,906 projected jobs, 11,688 — 84.1 percent — were slated for RTW states:


In the three sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes, RTW maintained its impressive dominance.

Seventeen 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. Sixteen projects are headed to RTW states, with four to occur in non-RTW states.

Two relocations will cross the barrier from non-RTW to RTW, with none headed from RTW to non-RTW.

While New Mexico’s economic-development bureaucrats dream of “Spaceport America” spurring a spacefaring “industry cluster” in the Land of Enchantment, firms in the sector continue to invest elsewhere. In July, Lockheed Martin picked Florida to “advance its role in spacecraft manufacturing,” bringing 300 jobs to Titusville. France-based Thales selected the Sunshine State for two investments. It plans to hire 327 workers in Melbourne and 173 employees in Orlando. In Mississippi, Aerojet Rocketdyne plans to expand its Center of Excellence for Large Liquid Rocket Engine Assembly by 70 positions.

Other marquee RTW investments included German manufacturer Gerhardi Kuntstofftechnik’s choice of Alabama for its first U.S.-based plant (235 jobs) and the decision by Eurotranciatura, a Spanish-Italian joint venture, to expand its factory in Tennessee (170 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.