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 January, of 15,078 projected jobs, 13,185 — 87.4 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
Throughout more than three years of tracking, RTW states have won every monthly match-up, consistently garnering between 70 percent and 90 percent of the jobs to be created.
As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:
* Nine 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. Eight projects are headed to RTW states, with two to occur in non-RTW states.
* Two relocations will be made from non-RTW to RTW states, with none moving in the other direction.
In this new year, the Foundation has added greenfield announcements to our analysis. In that sub-metric, RTW prevailed, 12-2.
Marquee RTW investments included:
* Mazda and Toyota chose Alabama for a billion-dollar factory with “the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually, with production split evenly between two lines for each company” (4,000 jobs)
* From a list of nine states, Nikola Motor Company picked Arizona to locate its “hydrogen-electric semi-truck manufacturing headquarters facility” (2,000 jobs)
* Spain’s Grupo Antolin, a “designer and manufacturer of components for the automotive industry,” plans to “invest $50 million to launch new operations in … South Carolina” (150 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.