International companies operating in the United States are a good measure of America’s economic competitiveness. When an international business sets up shop in your hometown, it’s a vote of confidence in your community.
Many states across America have recognized this beneficial relationship and increased their efforts to attract international companies – what economists call foreign direct investment (FDI). But which states have the highest job growth from international companies?
- Utah: Utah is the undisputed champion when it comes to job growth at international companies – achieving a 46 percent growth rate over the past five years. In fact, in one year, international companies in Utah have increased their employment of U.S. workers by more than 12 percent.
- Florida: With nearly a 44 percent increase in FDI jobs within the past five years, Florida claims its place as the second fastest growing FDI employment state in America.
- Tennessee: Tennessee’s FDI employment grew by 41 percent in the past five years. In fact, Germany-based Volkswagen recently announced an $800 million investment to begin production of electric vehicles at its Chattanooga plant, which is expected to create approximately 1,000 new jobs.
- Orgeon: Tying with Tennessee, international companies in Oregon increased their employment of U.S. workers by 41 percent.
- Michigan: In close fifth place, Michigan’s FDI employment has increased by 40 percent in the past five years. In the Great Lakes State, South Korean technology giant Samsung has announced plans to grow its workforce by more than 400 through a new manufacturing facility in Auburn.
- Kentucky: Kentucky is the sixth fastest growing FDI jobs state in the country, with employment by international companies, increasing by 37 percent within the last five years. DHL, a German company, recently expanded its presence at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, welcoming 250 additional employees.
- Mississippi: International companies have increased employment in Mississippi by 36 percent within the same timeframe. Nissan has contributed to this growth through its recent $170 million investment into the Japanese manufacturer’s production of a new vehicle model in Canton, resulting in new hires for research and development efforts and production lines.
- South Dakota: Like Mississippi, South Dakota’s economy has benefited from international companies growing their employment footprint by 36 percent. Smithfield Foods is one such example of FDI employment growth in the Mount Rushmore State, investing nearly $45 million and adding 70 new jobs to the existing 3,600 U.S. workers employed at its Sioux Falls operations.
- Arizona: Coming in ninth place, Arizona’s FDI employment rate has increased by 35 percent in the past five years. Within the next three years, Acronis, a Singapore-based cyber protection and hybrid cloud solutions company, plans to add more than 100 U.S. workers to its research and development operations hub in Scottsdale.
- Missouri: International companies have also helped accelerate Missouri’s economy by growing their employment of Show Me State workers by 35 percent.