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From Site Selection magazine, January 2010



Corporate decision-makers need refined business intelligence — the kind of distilled, actionable information that Conway Data has been drilling down to find for 55 years and counting. It's what we do. And it's what we've done in this inaugural edition of "The State of the States."

The following pages highlight recent corporate facility projects, new laws and incentives policies, updated FDI figures, wages, employment, demographics and Recovery Act funds facts in one easy-to-digest compendium. We draw deep from Conway Data's proprietary New Plant Database, as well as treasure troves of federal and state resources that, like many a legislative measure, don't always get studied like they should, even by search engines. Study it more closely, however, and you can find some valuable nuggets.

Pore over the detailed data at the home page of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), for instance, and interspersed among all the public-sector ARRA fund recipients in transportation, housing and unemployment funds you'll find a healthy smattering of large universities and large corporations. In the pages that follow, for each state we have selected one other line item that we felt was also meaningful to the corporate site-seeking audience.

State FDI data offers another worthwhile perspective. By sheer employment, as of the latest available data (2007) released in November 2009, the highest populated states lead the way. However, ranked by percent of total employment accounted for by foreign firms, Delaware leads the way at 7.3 percent, followed in order by South Carolina, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Massachusetts. Perhaps more telling: As recently as 2007, expenditures for R&D performed by majority-owned U.S. affiliates totaled $39.8 billion, accounting for 15 percent of the R&D performed by all U.S. businesses.

Finally, we mined numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Manufacturing Institute on manufacturing employment. Manufacturing employment has fallen by 2.1 million since December 2007. But even as the sector falters in general, some states are surging into the breach, with Tennessee cracking the Top 10 since 2007, and Kansas rising from 10th to seventh position.

A note on the layout: Our business plan for this project offered exclusive sponsorship to advertisers allied with particular states, up to a full page. Those states supported by a half-page or less of advertising are represented here by half-pages of data.

We dig data. We hope you'll dig the results.

WEB TOOLS YOU CAN USE: As you wind your way across a nation’s worth of data, take note of these navigation extras built into each state’s data page:
  • Click on the state name to read a recent Site Selection story about that territory.
  • Click on the state economic development or commerce department’s Web address to visit that agency directly.
  • Click on “U.S. Recovery Act Highlight” to read that state’s entire up-to-date summary report at

Sources include: BLS; BEA; NBER; Nat'l. Ctr. for Education Statistics; Census Bureau; Recovery Act Web site; Conway Data; Nat'l. Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation;

Adam Bruns
Editor in Chief of Site Selection magazine

Adam Bruns

Adam Bruns is editor in chief and head of publications for Site Selection, and before that has served as managing editor beginning in February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.


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