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.”
In November, of 12,464 projected jobs, 8,949 — 72 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
Nine domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Four announcements went the other way.
RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment (FDI), too. Sixteen projects are headed to RTW states, but just six are to to occur in non-RTW states.
Marquee RTW wins included Santander’s expansion of its operations in Arizona (970 jobs), GE Aviation’s pick of Alabama for “two manufacturing centers that will produce silicon carbide materials” (300 jobs), and the decision by China-based Sinomax Group, a designer and manufacturer of “high quality memory foam products, including mattresses, mattress toppers and pillows,” to locate two factories in Tennessee.
* 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.