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 July, of 23,466 projected jobs, 19,408 — 82.7 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
It’s important to note that the decision by Foxconn Technology Group to build a massive facility in newly RTW Wisconsin — an investment that could create 13,000 jobs — was not posted on Area Development‘s list.
As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:
* Fourteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Three went the other way.
* RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment, too. Seventeen projects are headed to RTW states, with six to occur in non-RTW states.
Marquee RTW investments included:
* India-based Infosys selected North Carolina “as the location for a new technology hub where it will create 2,000 jobs over five years.”
* Giti Tire, of Singapore, will open its “first North American manufacturing facility” in South Carolina. It will create 1,700 jobs.
* Merck picked Texas for “its newest IT Hub,” with plans to hire 600 staffers.
* Germany’s Bolta Group opened an auto-parts “production facility” in Alabama, which “will employ 350 people by the end of 2018.”
* 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.