The Trend Restored: RTW Dominates in April

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 April, of 19,616 projected jobs, 14,289 — 72.8 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:

Last month’s razor-thin advantage for RTW job-creation wasn’t repeated. Compulsory-unionism states returned to form, and could not replicate their near-victory in March.

As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:

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

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

* One relocation will be made from a non-RTW to a RTW state, with none moving in the other direction.

* In the greenfield-project sub-metric, RTW prevailed, 24-3.

Marquee RTW investments included:

* Belgium-based Van Hool NV, which makes “buses, coaches and industrial vehicles,” picked Tennessee for “its first U.S. manufacturing operation” (640 jobs)

* New York-based Corning “will build a high-volume Valor Glass manufacturing facility” in North Carolina (300 jobs)

* Nestlé relocated “its Gerber Products Company from New Jersey to its corporate headquarters in … Virginia” (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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