New Year, Same Results: Jobs and the Right to Work

The 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 January, of 16,358 projected jobs, 12,321 — 75.3 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:

As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:

* Seventeen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Zero announcements went the other way.

* RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment, too. Fifteen projects are headed to RTW states, with three to occur in a non-RTW state.

Marquee RTW investments included:

* Forrester Research announced a new office for “inside sales and support” in Tennessee (120 jobs)

* Mueller Industries picked Utah to site a production plant for “copper tube products” (125 jobs)

* Sterilite Corporation, “the largest plastic housewares company in North America,” invested $73 million in a “manufacturing and distribution facility” in Iowa (500 jobs)

Methodological specifics:

* 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.