Since January 2015, the Rio Grande 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 September, of 11,480 projected jobs, 7,211 — 62.8 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
As for the sub-metrics we track:
* Fourteen 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. Twelve projects are headed to RTW states, with three to occur in non-RTW states.
Marquee RTW investments in September included:
* Seattle-based Starbucks picked Georgia for its “new east coast satellite office” (500 jobs)
* Valkyrie Systems Aerospace announced a plan to “bring manufacturing facilities, as well as flight operations and training,” to Oklahoma (352 jobs)
* Australia-based Skyborne Technology, Inc., “a designer and developer of manned and unmanned next generation aviation systems,” opened a new factory in Florida (100 jobs)
* 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.