Selecting Other States

Source: Site Selection, March 2017

Site Selection is out with its annual look at capital investment in the states. The publication, using information obtained from the Conway Projects Database, tabulates projects that cost at least $1 million, create 20 or more jobs, and take up a minimum of 20,000 square feet.

Don’t bother sitting down for this: Texas’s chief executive took “his third Governor’s Cup,” and “the Lone Star State’s fifth consecutive such Cup.” At 642 projects, the contest wasn’t even close.

But states vary considerably in population, so Site Selection provides a helpful look at investments per capita. Surprisingly, New Mexico did not rank at rock bottom. The Land of Enchantment did, however, tumble into the bottom 15 states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. We’re in lousy company — e.g., Delaware, Connecticut, New York. And every state that borders New Mexico fared better. (See graph above.) Note that energy-rich (and right-to-work) Texas and Oklahoma secured the most investments in the Southwest.

Like the Rio Grande Foundation’s ongoing analysis of job-creation in right-to-work vs. compulsory-unionism states, Site Selection‘s data are particularly valuable, because they track real-world investment. Surveys of CEOs and projections of the future have their place, but it’s tough to argue with facts.

Think the legislation emerging from Santa Fe in the final weeks of the session — more regulations, higher takes — will improve New Mexico’s capital-investment performance in 2017? Errors of Enchantment doesn’t, either.

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