With the 2015 legislative session about to end, it's a near-certainty that right-to-work (RTW) legislation, which passed the House, will not be voted on in the Senate.
Given New Mexico's struggling economy and declining population, it's unfortunate that senators have rejected a powerful, and cost-fee, tool for job creation. Since the start of the year, the Rio Grande Foundation has been 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."
Here are the findings for January:
Here are the findings for February:
In all, 27,389 jobs (80.6 percent) were to be created in RTW states. Only 6,605 jobs (19.4 percent) were planned for non-RTW states.
Notably, many projects involved shifts from non-RTW to RTW states:
* Brad Penn Lubricants moved production from Pennsylvania to Indiana.
* Mercedes-Benz USA relocated its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to Georgia.
* American Stair Corporation moved its operations from Illinois to Indiana.
Contrary to unions' claims, the positions slated for RTW states are not limited to "McJobs," but run the gamut, including healthcare, software/IT, manufacturing, finance, engineering, and logistics/warehousing -- exactly the kind of opportunities New Mexico needs to reverse its economic woes.
In all, New Mexico's four RTW neighbors are projected to gain 6,122 jobs, while non-RTW Colorado posted no project announcements.
Some 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 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.