The Rio Grande Foundation is tracking 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.”
Last month, of 18,316 projected jobs, 13,275 — 72.5 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
Eighteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states disclosed investments in RTW states. Just two announcements went the other way.
There were three domestic relocations from compulsory-union to RTW states. Zero RTW-to-non-RTW moves.
It was another big month for foreign direct investment. Here again, the disparity was wide. Twenty-eight investments were made in RTW states, but only nine in non-RTW states.
Marquee RTW wins included Sealed Air’s relocation from New Jersey to Georgia (1,200 jobs), a big expansion for Switzerland-based UBS in Tennessee, and California-based Google’s decision to build a data center 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 by elected officials and economic-development bureaucracies.
* If no job figure could be found anywhere, the project was not counted, whether it was a RTW or non-RTW state.
* Intrastate relocations were not counted, interstate relocations were.