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 August, of 24,001 projected jobs, 17,884 — 74.5 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
Once again, Jeff Bezos rode to the rescue of non-RTW states. Nearly half of the jobs to be created where union contributions are compulsory will be at Amazon “fulfillment centers” in California and Ohio.
As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:
* Eighteen 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. Twenty projects are headed to RTW states, with only three to occur in non-RTW states.
Marquee RTW investments included:
* LG Electronics, of South Korea, “broke ground on its new one-million-square-foot home appliance manufacturing facility near Clarksville, Tennessee,” which will “bring at least 600 full-time jobs to the area.”
* HMD Trucking, “a transportation and logistics service provider,” is relocating operations from Illinois to Indiana, where it “plans to create up to 500 new jobs for Hoosiers by 2021.”
* Connecticut-based United Technologies will hire 260 at “its new 80,000-square foot manufacturing and nacelle assembly facility” in Alabama.
* 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.