Springtime for RTW Job Growth

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 March, of 14,157 projected jobs, 11,510 — 81.3 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:

As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:

* Fifteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Just one announcement went the other way.

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

Marquee RTW investments included:

* UPS upgraded a Texas warehouse into a “regional hub” (1,400 jobs)

* Gartner, “a global information technology research and advisory company” based in Connecticut, will expand its facility in Florida to house new “positions in sales, client service, research, finance, and more” (600 jobs)

* HARIBO, the Germany-based confectioner, picked Wisconsin for its “first North American manufacturing facility” (400 jobs)

* Biomerics decided to remain in Utah to construct a new, $38.5 million headquarters (380 jobs)

* Japan-based NTK Precision Axle Corporation chose Indiana for “a new manufacturing facility” (200 jobs)

* Bidell Gas Compression, a subsidiary of Canada’s Total Energy Services, announced that it will locate its “first United States manufacturing operation” in West Virginia, to “fabricate, sell, lease and service natural gas compression equipment to customers operating throughout North America and internationally” (130 jobs)

* General Electric, in the process of moving its headquarters from Connecticut to Massachusetts, expanded its MRI “components production operations” in South Carolina (100 new 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.